Posts Tagged ‘fall’

Cranberry Applesauce

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

My maple syrup and cider-sweetened cranberry sauce is a favorite on our Thanksgiving table, but for Thanksgivukkah I decided to give it a new twist, and make a cranberry applesauce to top those turkey and sweet potato (Thanksgiving leftover) latkes. I liked the cranberry so much that I may serve it as a latke topping every year, not just for Thanksgivukkah. It’s super simple to make with kids, too — especially kids who are old enough to peel and chop apples.

Maple Sweetened Cranberry Applesauce | FoodieTots.com

Recipe: Maple-Sweetened Cranberry Applesauce

Makes approx. 2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 2 large apples, cored and cut into large chunks
  • 1 cup whole cranberries
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup apple cider
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions:

Note: For a less chunky sauce, peel the apples first.

1. Place all ingredients in a heavy, medium-sized pot. Place over medium low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until apples and berries cook down to a chunky sauce, about 20 minutes. Cool before serving.

maple syrup action shot | cranberry applesauce by foodietots

Kabocha Squash Apple Tacos with Chèvre {#MeatlessMonday}

Monday, October 14th, 2013

Did you know the Meatless Monday campaign celebrates its 10th anniversary this fall? To celebrate, I wanted to make some vegetarian tacos — and I just happened to have a beautiful Kabocha squash on hand. I spiced and roasted the squash for a warm, fall flavor and then added a sweet apple to balance the spicy squash. This roasted squash and apple combo is a great kid-friendly side dish on its own, but it was especially delicious atop warmed corn tortillas with cilantro and crumbled chèvre. This will make a repeat appearance on our Taco Tuesday menu very soon!

Kabocha Squash Apple Tacos with Chevre by FoodieTots

You can use butternut or acorn squash if you prefer, but I loved the green-orange hues and rich flavor of the Kabocha. I went a little lighter on the spices for the kids, so I’ve given a range below — cumin is a great early spice for babies and toddlers as it adds flavor without too much heat, so you could even mash up the roasted squash and (peeled) apples for your littlest eaters.

Recipe: Roasted Squash Apple Tacos with Chèvre
Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 Kabocha squash (approximately 2 1/2 cups peeled and diced)
  • 1 apple, diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • fresh cilantro to garnish
  • 4 ounces fresh goat cheese
  • salsa verde and/or Sriracha, optional if you prefer your tacos hot

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Place diced squash in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Add cumin, paprika and salt and toss to coat evenly. Spread in an even layer on baking sheet and roast 15 minutes.
3. Stir squash gently and add apple. Return to oven and roast an additional 10 to 15 minutes, until squash is tender and apples are lightly browned.
4. Warm tortillas and serve with a spoonful of squash-apple filling, pinch of cilantro and tablespoon of chèvre.

This recipe is linked to the Meatless Monday blog hop at Recipe Renovator.

To commemorate the 10th anniversary, a Meatless Monday Scientific Symposium will be held Thursday, Oct. 17, at 4 pm — get details and watch the live stream from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health here.

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:

Baked Explorations with Kids (and Pumpkin Cheddar Muffins)

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

We had a spell of grey, rainy weather when we returned from Florida, which made me want to hunker down in the kitchen and do some serious baking. It was perfect timing to receive a review copy of Baked Explorations, the newest cookbook from famed Brooklyn bakers Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Its gorgeous pictures and simple recipes for classic American treats with a modern spin had the whole family pouring over the pages trying to decide what we wanted to sample first. From black and white cookies to caramel apple cake, there doesn’t appear to be a lackluster recipe in the bunch. (Well, there is one weird one that calls for tomato soup, but we’ll let that one slide.) But the recipe that made my heart flutter was for Pumpkin Cheddar Muffins. The sidebar note extolling the virtues of Vermont raw milk cheddars didn’t hurt, but it was the combination of my two favorite foods, pumpkin and cheese, that led me to believe I’d met my breakfast soulmate.

Indeed, this muffin is a little bit savory, full of pumpkin flavor and the very essence of fall. If, like me, you like pumpkin-flavored fall treats that actually taste like pumpkin, not just overly-sweet cinnamon-spiced concoctions (ahem, Starbucks pumpkin spice latte), you’ll love these muffins. Especially if you use fresh roasted pumpkin puree. I made cinnamon-sugar roasted pumpkin seeds to use on top, and used extra sharp Cabot cheddar (from Vermont).

The only other change I made to the recipe was to use just 1 teaspoon black pepper instead of the 1 1/2 it called for. My pepper mill produces too coarse a grind and I was afraid of biting into a chunk of pepper. The muffins have a slight bite but not so much so that littler taste buds won’t still enjoy them. I did have to tell a little white lie to get the boy to eat them, however. He suddenly declared he didn’t like pumpkin, but asked what flavor the leaf-shaped muffins were. (I baked half the muffins in a pumpkin and leaf muffin pan I have.)  I said they were oak, and he declared, “I love oak! Oak is my favorite flavor!” before digging in. Sometimes food-phobias really can be overcome with a simple change of semantics.

Whatever you call these muffins in your home, I’m sure you’ll enjoy them. And take a look at the rest of the book if you’re looking for some new sweet treats to bake with your kids on rainy days.

Recipe: Pumpkin Cheddar Muffins

Source: Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups (about 4 ounces) grated sharp cheddar
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds, optional

Instructions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a 12-cup muffin pan. In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin and sour cream. Add the eggs and butter and whisk until combined.

In another large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cayenne pepper, salt, black pepper and brown sugar. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the well, and fold until just combined. Fold in three-quarters of the cheese.

Divide the batter among the muffin cups. Sprinkle the remaining cheddar and the pumpkin sees on top of the muffins. Bake them for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Let the muffin pan cool on a rack for 10 minutes before turning out the muffins. Serve them warm. Makes 12 muffins.

Review Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this cookbook. No other compensation was received, and all opinions are strictly those of myself and my family. Read my full review policy here.

Fresh from the Pumpkin Patch (and Whole Wheat Pumpkin Bread)

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Fall is my favorite time of year, especially here in Virginia where we are blessed with beautiful weather and picturesque colors this time of year. After growing up in the Pacific Northwest, with those infernal evergreen trees, the brilliant shades of fall leaves here never fail to impress me. And of course it’s not truly fall ’till we’ve ventured to the pumpkin patch. This year, with two kids in tow — and unlike her big brother’s first trip, the Foodie Bebe didn’t sleep through the whole experience. Of course, that may be because we spent the entire day at the farm… But when your farm is part working farm, part Disneyland (right down to the crazy insane lines for the hayrides and food), what else can you expect?

the great pumpkin hunt at Butlers Orchard

the great pumpkin hunt at Butler's Orchard

The past two years we’ve gone to Butler’s Orchard in Germantown, Maryland. It’s large, but activities are spaced out so it doesn’t feel quite as crazy as some of the other local pumpkin extravaganzas. It’s a 60-year-old, family-owned farm, and they actually grow things there. I have nothing against farms who turn into amusement parks if that’s what they need to do to lure people in and turn a profit, I just ask that they actually still grow something. When so many places just plop pumpkins from who knows where into a field, it’s nice to see some honest-to-goodness pumpkin vines. I don’t know if all the pumpkins were grown there (there was a remarkably high percentage of “ginormous” pumpkins, as the boy would say), but close enough for me. There’s a farm store where you can get all sorts of apples, baked goods, canning supplies and other harvest accoutrement as well. On weekends in October, there’s live music, bouncy houses, giant slides, caramel apples, barbecue, apple cider, pony rides, a corn maze …. even pedal tractors and a pumpkin coach pulled by mice (with a little help from a tractor).

A long day of play on the farm demands a hearty breakfast first, and this pumpkin loaf is a perfect start. (Made with our homemade pumpkin puree, not the carving pumpkins we got on the farm.)  I used whole wheat pastry flour to add just a smidge of healthfulness, but you can use white if you prefer.

Recipe: Whole Wheat Pumpkin Bread

  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup pumpkin purée
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Maple Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • ~ 1 teaspoon water

Instructions:  In a large bowl, whisk together flours, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. In the mixing bowl, beat the eggs on low speed until combined. Add pumpkin, sour cream, butter, vanilla and sugar and mix on medium low until smooth. Add dry ingredients, mixing on low until just combined. Pour batter into a lightly greased bread pan (9x5x3), level off the top, and bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes to 1 hour. Let cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 10 minutes before removing from pan.

To make the glaze: Whisk together powdered sugar and maple syrup, then add water until a thin consistency is achieved. (If you have maple extract, add 1/4 teaspoon.) Drizzle over the cooled loaf and let stand a few more minutes before slicing.

Makes 1 9-inch loaf. Enjoy!

whole grain pumpkin bread