Friday, October 12, 2012

Pumpkin Kick

Sorry for the lack of updates this week.  The short work week felt incredibly long.  I actually did do some cooking and baking Tuesday night, but then went out to meet some work friends before I could blog it.  Then my other excuse is simply that I'm lazy and it's cold outside, so it's too tempting to go to Panera and rush to bed early!  But I promise I will be better :)

So, Tuesday: I made dinner.  It was just me and Mom, so I took advantage of the opportunity to use the jar of mushroom marinara sauce that I got for sale a week ago.  I knew anyone else would whine!  Mom has been begging for my stuffed shells, so I whipped up my most commonly used recipe: spinach and ricotta stuffed shells!  The only weird thing was that I realized I had no regular mozzarella cheese... but I did have smoked mozzarella!  So it made for a bit of a different flavoring on top.  In fact, Mom asked if there was bacon in it! Haha.  It was still good though; we both ate lots, and I took more for lunch today.  This is just a recipe that never goes wrong.

I also decided to make a batch of pumpkin cookies.  I had spotted the recipe when looking for good pumpkin things on Annie's Eats, and when I saw a pumpkin oatmeal cookie, with dried cranberries and white chocolate chips, I was pretty pumped.  It sounded like something that Kenzie would love (she loves pumpkin and chocolate chips) and Mom might even eat (she loves oatmeal and cranberries!).  The recipe makes a huge amount of cookies, so it took a while rotating my two pans, but luckily making tons of cookies was not a bad thing. These are actually really good.  They are really flavorful, with spices like cloves and cinnamon and ginger and nutmeg.  The pumpkin mixed in with that, and the oats and cranberries and white chocolate.... they are good.  I am not even a cookie person, and I will confess to taking them to work with me every day this week :)  And for a recipe that makes about 3 dozen cookies, it looks like we have about 8 left.  That's huge for this family!  In fact, I already got another request for these for a baby shower next week.

...which brings me to my mini project tonight.  I somehow got the idea in my head that I needed to make my own pumpkin puree.  I had read on another blog that it really does taste much better than the canned stuff, and it didn't sound too hard, so I figured, why wouldn't I? I have been on a bit of a pumpkin kick lately (in case you didn't notice) and if making my own puree will make my stuff taste that much better, then bring on the sugar pumpkins!  I bought two, chopped off the tops (and gave one to Neely... how adorable is he!?), cut them in fourths, and roasted them.  The "recipe" I found said it takes 45 minutes, but mine took closer to an hour and a half.  When they are done, you know it, because the skin gets all bubbly and easy to peel off.  The hardest part, frankly, was pureeing the pumpkin since my food processor, as you all know, is older than I am.  Still, it got done in the end, and I officially have a Tupperware full of homemade pumpkin puree sitting in my fridge.  What should I do will all this pumpkin!? The options are overwhelming.  What is your favorite thing to do with pumpkin? 

spinach and ricotta tuffed shells
pumpkin oatmeal cookies
homemade pumpkin puree

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