Posts Tagged ‘pumpkin’

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:

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.

Jack O’ Lantern Grilled Cheese #KidsCookMonday

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

This was intended to be a quick post about a healthy and fun pre-Halloween lunch, but of course my six-year-old had other plans. Oh, he was amused enough by the first sandwich, but then he asked for a second. And then he said it wasn’t scary enough. So I told him the jack o’ lantern was saying “Boo!” — to which he replied that he needed to see the word bubble to believe it. You can see how that went below…

Jack O' Lantern Grilled Cheese

First, though, the recipe — though it’s pretty simple. Whole wheat sandwich bread, a touch of pumpkin butter, and a blend of shredded cheese. A large pumpkin cookie cutter shapes the sandwich, and small cookie cutters are used to cut out the face. The cheese does ooze through while cooking, though, so the face won’t look quite so perfect when you’re done. *I* think that adds to the charm, but it depends how tough your critics are…

Recipe: Jack O’Lantern Pumpkin Grilled Cheese
Makes 4 sandwiches

Ingredients:

  • 8 slices wheat bread
  • butter
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (I used a blend of cheddar and gouda)
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin butter

Instructions:

  1. Cut bread into pumpkin shape. Use small cookie cutters to cut out a face in four of the slices.
  2. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet over medium low heat.
  3. Spread 1/2 tablespoon pumpkin butter on the bottom slice of bread and place in pan. Cover with 1/4 cup shredded cheese and the face side of bread. Cook 1-2 minutes on each side until golden bread. Repeat with remaining slices of bread.

Note: Straight pumpkin puree can be substituted for the pumpkin butter — a good way to use up any leftover puree after baking.

And, as promised, here’s my first “Boo!”…

pumpkin grilled cheese sandwich

… but he said it had to be ON THE PUMPKIN to count. No pressure or anything.

halloween grilled cheese sandwich

Needless to say, next time he’ll be in charge of “carving” his own sandwich. ;)

Pumpkin and Onion Macaroni and Cheese

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

I’m a firm believer that comfort food can also be healthy when made with wholesome ingredients and slight tweaks. Take this pumpkin and caramelized onion mac-and-cheese, which doesn’t hide the vegetable addition but celebrates it. Pumpkin or butternut squash puree is a natural addition to macaroni as its creaminess blends right in to a rich cheese sauce.

This recipe is part of the “30 Days 30 Ways with Macaroni and Cheese” series hosted by the Wisconsin cheese folks — hop on over to check it out and find other ways to get creative with this kid-favorite dish.

pumpkin mac and cheese

~

This post was sponsored by the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (WMMB) who compensated me for developing this recipe. I have a relationship with the WMMB through my cheese blog, through which I was able to travel to Wisconsin to visit some of the state’s finest cheesemakers in person — read more about it at Cheese and Champagne.

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.