Archive for November, 2012

Pumpkin Granola Bars

Friday, November 30th, 2012

It may be the end of November, but I figure there’s still time to share one last pumpkin treat before the holiday baking begins in earnest. You need something healthy for those lunchboxes and after-school snacks to offset the Christmas cookies, right? These soft-baked granola bars are easy to put together (even with little helpers). I made them for my son’s school bake sale — a not-too-sweet treat you can still feel good about.

Pumpkin Granola Bars

Recipe: Pumpkin Granola Bars
Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod
Makes 10-12 bars

Ingredients:
  • 3 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8- by 8-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together oats, sugar, spices and salt.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, coconut oil, honey and vanilla extract. Pour pumpkin mixture into dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
4. Pour batter into baking pan and press down with spatula. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until cooked through and lightly browned. Let cool completely, then cut into rectangles.
Ever made homemade granola bars? Here are a few other varieties from around the web:

Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash and Pomegranate

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

It always warms my heart to see traffic pick up on my Best Ever Roasted Turnips post as Thanksgiving approaches. Before that, I posted my alternative to the traditional green bean casserole. I tend to be a traditionalist when it comes to my Thanksgiving menu — but I do like to experiment with the vegetable side dishes. What can I say, I have a passion for giving misunderstood produce new life on your holiday table. So this year I turned my attention to Brussels sprouts. I can’t remember really eating them as a child, so I don’t have the baggage of a childhood filled with soggy, limp boiled sprouts to overcome. But for those of you who may have experienced such a travesty, I’m here to tell you: it doesn’t have to be that way. There are two schools of thought when it comes to preparing Brussels — cook ‘em in/with/on/under bacon (never a bad approach), or roast ‘em. Either way, the objective is to cook them until just tender inside and a little crisp outside. For this Thanksgiving side, I roasted them and combined them with roasted butternut squash and fresh pomegranate arils to add some contrasting sweet and tart notes and a bit of color.

pomegranate brussels sprouts with butternut squash

Recipe: Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash and Pomegranate
Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds (arils)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
  • Kosher salt
  • black pepper

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel butternut squash, remove seeds, and cut into small 1/2-inch cubes. Place on rimmed baking sheet, toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Place in oven and roast 10 minutes before adding Brussels sprouts.

2. Meanwhile, trim Brussels sprouts stems, remove outer leaves, and cut into quarters. Spread on a second rimmed baking sheet and gently toss with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and a pinch of salt. Place in oven and roast 25 to 30 minutes, stirring midway through. (Stir squash at the same time.) Brussels and squash should both be tender and browned.

3. Place cooked Brussels sprouts and squash in serving bowl. Drizzle with pomegranate molasses, salt and pepper to taste, then top with pomegranate seeds. Serve warm or at room temperature.

~

More Brussels love from around the food blogs:

If you’re still not completely sold on the virtues of Brussels sprouts, take a look at my friend Domenica’s recent find — Kaleidoscope sprouts.

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving vegetable?

Pumpkin Gingerbread Cake #FBS4Sandy

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

What do food bloggers do when a hurricane is approaching? Cook and bake, of course. With school and work cancelled and hours to go before the serious part of the storm arrived, I hunkered down in my kitchen cooking down the contents of my refrigerator. All the while following along with those on twitter doing the same thing. We had this pumpkin gingerbread cake for breakfast, and I had chili simmering on the gas stove for dinner just in time — as we lost power in the late afternoon. Fortunately, we were without power for less than 36 hours — as we all know, the brunt of Hurricane Sandy was felt by those in New York and New Jersey.

pumpkin gingerbread cake (c)foodietots

While our family and friends were largely spared damage, hearing about and seeing the devastation on the news has been heartrending. (My friend Christina of Take Back Your Table was without power for 10 days–and even then, she’s one of the lucky ones. Some areas may not have power back until December.) And once again, the food community is banding together to support those impacted by Hurricane Sandy — with a Food Bloggers Support for Sandy virtual potluck. I’m bringing this cake, but visit our hostess Creative Culinary for a hearty round-up of comfort dishes. And I know I don’t have to tell you to give if you’re able to the hurricane relief effort. To give toward kid-focused relief efforts, there’s the Pajama Project or K.I.D.S., both of which can take donations directed towards Sandy relief work.

Recipe: Pumpkin Gingerbread Cake
Makes 2 9-inch cakes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cane sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree (15 oz)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two 9-inch round cake pans (line with parchment paper, butter and flour).
2. Mix flour, sugars, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and ginger in a large mixing bowl.
3. Mix pumpkin, eggs, olive oil, applesauce and molasses in a separate bowl. Pour into dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
4. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan 5 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
Note: Make a two-layer cake with cream cheese frosting, or eat one layer and freeze the other for later. I served mine with a maple glaze — one cup powdered sugar, one teaspoon maple extract, and enough milk (one teaspoon at a time) to make a thin glaze.
Visit Creative Culinary for the Support for Sandy link-up — and add your own recipe if you’d like.

Tea with Mrs. B {DC/VA/MD}

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

The holidays are approaching — time to brush up on manners with a special pre-holiday “Tea with Mrs. B” this Sunday, November 11, at The Fairfax at Embassy Row. In this two-hour event, Mrs. B will offer holiday etiquette advice, while The Fairfax’s Chef Ferrier will share healthy holiday eating suggestions. There will be a full kid-friendly tea service and even a photographer on hand for family photos while everyone is dressed in their fancy tea attire.

Tea with Mrs. B

We had such a fun time at a “Tea with Mrs. B” event at the Morrison House in Old Town Alexandria last year. If you can’t make it to Sunday’s event, the Morrison will also host holiday story time teas on November 17 (Thanksgiving) and December 15 (Christmas/Hanukkah). Visit Mrs. B’s website for additional details.

Holiday Etiquette and Tea Party for the Entire Family
with Mrs. B
Sunday, November 11, 2012
1:00-3:00pm
Fairfax at Embassy Row
2100 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, D.C.
Adults: $49 per person; Children: $29 per person
Purchase tickets online here or call
202-736-1459.