October 31, 2010

"Pumpkin" Pancakes

Pancakes are traditional weekend fare in our household. It's common to see chocolate chip pancakes served at the table, but occasionally I like to try a new recipe. Today's adventure was "pumpkin" pancakes (made with my seemingly endless supply of butternut squash). They made
the house smell fantastic and were tasty and filling.

"Pumpkin" Pancakes
1 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 egg
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
3/4 cup squash puree
Milk as needed to thin batter

Combine all ingredients together while griddle heats. Add milk last, and add 1-2 Tbsp. at a time until pancake mixture can be spooned onto the griddle. Cook pancakes on both sides until evenly cooked, making sure the pancake is fully cooked as these are thicker flapjacks. Serve warm with syrup or "pumpkin" butter. Makes 2-3 servings.

October 27, 2010

Slow Cooker Zesty Black Bean Soup

This is a tasty recipe, although for some reason my beans are not as soft as I'd have expected. My husband even ate it despite him proclaiming earlier he would not eat black bean soup. That proves if you make food and leave that as the only option in the fridge, people will at least try the food. This is the first of many black bean soup recipes I want to try, so hopefully you'll see more in the future with comparisons.

Slow Cooker Zesty Black Bean Soup
2 cups dried black beans, sorted and rinsed
10 cups water
8 cups vegetable broth
28 oz. stewed tomatoes, undrained
2 medium carrots, coarsely chopped (1 cup)
2 medium onions, coarsely chopped (1 cup)
2 Tbsp. dried cilantro
2 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 tsp. pepper

In 4-quart Dutch oven, heat beans and water to boiling, and then reduce heat. Simmer uncovered 10 minutes. Cover, and let stand 1 hour.

Drain beans, and place in slow cooker. Combine with remaining ingredients. Cover, and cook on low 10 to 12 hours.

Serve soup garnished with cilantro, sour cream and shredded cheese if desired. Makes 9 servings.

"Pumpkin"-Cinnamon Streusel Buns

This seemed like a suitable recipe for more of my butternut squash. I can't vouch for the flavor of these rolls as they're currently sitting in my freezer waiting for a lazy weekend ... like that will ever happen! I also can't guarantee I'll update this once I bake and devour the rolls, but they look delicious unbaked.

Note-I baked the cinnamon buns. They are delicious.

"Pumpkin"-Cinnamon Streusel Buns
2 1/4 tsp. yeast
1/4 cup warm water
2 3/4 cup flour, divided
1/2 cup butternut squash puree
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
3 Tbsp. sugar
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbsp. chilled butter, cut into small pieces

3/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 Tbsp. hot water
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

Dissolve yeast in warm water, and let stand 5 minutes. Add 2 cups flour, squash, milk, butter, sugar, salt and nutmeg to the yeast mixture. Beat on medium speed until smooth. Turn dough onto a floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes) adding flour as needed to prevent dough from sticking to hands.

Place dough in large greased bowl. Cover, and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes. Punch down dough, and let rest 5 minutes. Combine 3 Tbsp. each of white and brown sugar with cinnamon and butter using a pastry blender or two knives.

Roll dough into a 12 x 10-inch long rectangle on a flour surface. Sprinkle with sugar mixture evenly. Roll up dough tightly, jelly-roll style, beginning at the long edge. Cut roll into 12 1-inch slices using a sharp knife. Place slices in a greased 9-inch baking pan. (Note: This is the point to freeze rolls for later baking if so desired.) Cover, and let rise 25 minutes or until doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 375ºF. (If dough is frozen, let thaw overnight in fridge and let stand at room temperature prior to baking until dough doubles.) Bake rolls for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 15 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Prepare glaze by combining the glaze ingredients with a whisk until smooth. Drizzle glaze on buns, and serve warm. Makes 12 rolls.

"Pumpkin" Muffins

These muffins are a healthy pumpkin muffin with plenty of flavor ... as always, I prefer muffins warm!"Pumpkin" Muffins
2 3/4 cups flour
1 cup sugar substitute
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup pureed butternut squash
3/4 cup fat-free sour cream
1/3 cup fat-free milk
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 egg white, lightly beaten
Cooking spray
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. brown sugar

Preheat oven to 375ºF. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together in a medium bowl. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients.

In separate bowl, combine pumpkin, sour cream, milk, oil, vanilla, egg and egg white together. Add wet ingredients to flour mixture, stirring until just moist. Spoon batter into 18 muffin cups coated with non-stick spray.

Combine remaining sugars in a small dish. Sprinkle topping over muffins. Bake 23 to 25 minutes, until muffins spring back when touched lightly in the center. Remove from muffin tins, and cool on wire racks. Makes 18 muffins.

October 26, 2010

Roasted Beet Salad with Cherry Vinaigrette

This is a delicious, healthy salad that enhances the natural sweet, earthy flavors of beets. As a bonus, it's a gorgeous red color by the next day!Roasted Beet Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette
8 beets (about 2 1/2 lbs.)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped onion
1/2 cup coarsely chopped celery
2 Tbsp. cherry balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. honey
1 1/2 tsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper

Preheat oven to 425ºF. Leave root and 1 inch of stem on the beets, and scrub them with a brush to remove dirt. Place beets on foil-lined baking sheet. Bake 45 minutes or until tender. Cool. Trim off roots, and rub off skins. Coarsely chop beets. Combine beets, onion and celery in a bowl.

In small bowl, combine remaining ingredients to form a vinaigrette. Pour over beet mixture, and toss gently to coat. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Serves 6.

BS Cupcakes

This is the ultimate way to convince non-squash eaters that squash is indeed not poisonous! I converted a pumpkin cupcake/frosting combo from the Cupcake Project into an amazing way to utilize butternut squash. These cupcakes are moist and the perfect complement to the rich frosting.

P.S. My husband shared one of these cupcakes with my father-in-law, without sharing the ingredients. My husband then told me he knows that powerful feeling I experience when I trick him into eating something on his list of "poisonous" foods.

BS Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups flour
1 heaping tsp. cinnamon
1/2 heaping tsp. ginger
1/2 heaping tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup butternut squash puree
2 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup dark rum
1/4 cup maple syrup

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Whisk together flour, ground spices baking soda and salt.

In large bowl, combine the sugar, squash and eggs. Beat until smooth. Mix in the oil, rum and maple syrup. Slowly add the flour mixture, and stir together until fully incorporated. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full. Bake 20-25 minutes, until tested clean with a toothpick. Makes 12 cupcakes.

"Pumpkin" Butter Frosting
1/4 cup pumpkin butter (I used butternut squash butter. See previous post.)
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp. milk
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup sifted powdered sugar

In saucepan, melt the butter and pumpkin butter together. Add brown sugar, and bring to a biol. Lower the heat to medium low, and boil 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the milk and the cinnamon and bring to a boil again, still stirring constantly. Cool to lukewarm. Gradually add the powdered sugar, and beat until thick enough to spread. Schmear this rich frosting (similar to a penuche, but punched up) on cupcakes, and enjoy!

October 17, 2010

"Pumpkin" Gingerbread

This was the latest creation from my supply of butternut squash. It's not an overly rich bread, but it packs plenty of flavor. I think this would be great topped with "pumpkin" butter. My 1-year old niece loved this bread, so she must have great taste.

"Pumpkin" Gingerbread
2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup wheat germ
1 tsp. ginger
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup butternut squash puree
1 12-oz. can evaporated milk
5 Tbsp. oil
1 large egg

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Lightly grease a 9 x 5 loaf pan. Combine all dry ingredients together in medium bowl. In separate bowl, combine squash, milk, oil and egg until well mixed. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients, and stir until moistened.

Pour into pan, and bake 60 to 70 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan, and cool completely on wire rack.

October 11, 2010

Stuffed Stuff

Tonight I made ravioli for the first time ever, although I think it's cheating to use won ton wrappers. I made a pureed butternut squash filling with cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar substitute. I'm quite curious to see how they taste (as I didn't sample them yet), but I'm not sure calling them "pumpkin" ravioli will make my husband less cautious.

I also made semi-homemade apple turnovers tonight, using packaged puff pastry with a freshly made filling. Again, I haven't taste tested them yet, as they're sitting in the freezer for a later date.

Amish Apple Grunt

Hmm ... my boss just told me last week that I'm Amish because of the amount of baking and canning I do. (He also said I was the oldest 25-year-old he knows, which must be because I'm really 27.) Anyways, it only seems appropriate that I made this dessert with some of my fall apples. I think I might have overdid the apples since I didn't measure, but it was still tasty. Not my favorite dessert but worth repeating.

Amish Apple Grunt
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. butter
1 egg
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup sour milk or buttermilk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups apples, peeled and sliced
6 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 Tbsp. butter

Preheat oven to 375ºF. Cream sugar and butter together. Add egg, and mix well. Add flour, salt, baking powder, milk and vanilla. Mix all together. Add apple slices, and pour batter into a greased 8 x 8 pan.

Combine the remaining ingredients (brown sugar through butter) together until it forms coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over batter. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Serve warm. Makes approximately 6 servings.

October 10, 2010

"Pumpkin" Bread

Again, this was made with butternut squash puree, not pumpkin puree. Still has the same pretty orange color and slightly sweet taste. Makes a really large loaf of bread. This is a good moist bread, although the dough is quite sticky. (Note the cutting board made by my grandpa with the brand my dad and uncle created.)

"Pumpkin Bread"
15 oz. butternut squash, cooked and pureed
2 tsp. dry yeast
1/4 cup water (plus additional as needed)
2 tsp. honey
4 cups flour
2 tsp. salt
1 egg yolk
1 Tbsp. milk
2 Tbsp. pepitas

Sprinkle yeast on top of 1/4 cup water. Let stand 5 minutes. Add honey and stir to dissolve.

Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle and add yeast mixture along with butternut squash. Stir to create a dough. Once dough is manageable, knead on floured surface approximately 10 minutes, until smooth. Place in greased container, cover and let rise until doubled, approximately 90 minutes.

Punch dough down. Shape into round loaf. Cover with a towel, and let rise one hour. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425ºF. Combine egg yolk and milk. Brush the loaf with this wash, and sprinkle with pepitas. Bake 40 minutes or until loaf sounds hollow.

Popular Muffins

These were the first recipe of the fall with my abundance of apples. Although they were good, I would recommend perhaps increasing the sugar to 1/2 cup and adding more cinnamon and perhaps nutmeg or allspice as well to increase the flavor.

Popular Muffins
1 egg
1 cup milk
1 cup grated apple
1 Tbsp. canola oil
3 Tbsp. applesauce
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Grease 12 muffin cups. Beat egg, and stir in milk. Mix apples with the oil and applesauce. Combine with egg mixture.

In separate bowl, combine cinnamon, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Fold into egg mixture until moistened. Fill muffin tins evenly. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until golden. Immediately remove from pan, and cool.

"Pumpkin" Butter

So this really is not pumpkin butter, although it tastes remarkably similar to pumpkin butter. It's butternut squash butter, but my husband is willing to eat it if we pretend it's pumpkin butter. This was an experiment for me, but it turned out well. Definitely a recipe worth repeating!

"Pumpkin" Butter
5 cups butternut squash, cooked and pureed
1 1/2 cups apple cider
4 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cloves
4 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. ground nutmeg
3 cups sugar (or sugar substitute)

Combine all ingredients in a crock pot, and cook uncovered on high about one hour. Spoon hot butter into warm 1/2 pint jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Makes approximately 3 pints.