Tag Archives: Recipes

Pureeing Pumpkin Is Easy!

After cleaning the seeds out of the pumpkins, we, of course, cooked and ate them! ūüėÄ ¬†There are loads of wonderful recipes to try on the internet. And I didn’t want to waste all that delicious pumpkin, so I pureed it! It’s very easy and tastes sooo much better than canned puree.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Line your pumpkin bits flesh side up on cookie sheets and cook for 45 minutes or until fork tender.

Ready to go!

Ready to go!

45 minutes later, they're done. Now let them cool.

45 minutes later, they’re done. Now let them cool.

Now it’s time to separate the flesh from the skin. ¬†If, like me, you’re pumpkins are older, you will be able to just peel them. ¬†If they’re fresh pumpkins, they will still have a lot of moisture in them and might not peel easily. ¬†If so, you will have to use a spoon or a knife to scrape the pumpkin from the skin.

Peeling pumpkins.

Peeling pumpkins.

Just like that.

Just like that.

Now you have a bowl full of pumpkin bits. So you can get out your mixer and have at them...

Now you have a bowl full of pumpkin bits. So you can get out your mixer and have at them…

Using a mixer will give you more of an apple sauce texture to the pumpkin.  You'll never notice it in muffins, but a pie will have a somewhat thicker texture.  The same with pumpkin butter.  The spices won't meld into all the chunkier bits and so there will be a definite note of pumpkin along with the spic

Using a mixer will give you more of an applesauce texture to the pumpkin. You’ll never notice it in muffins, but a pie will have a somewhat thicker rather than creamier texture. The same with pumpkin butter. Which is fine by me, BUT if you have family members that are sensitive to food texture then whip out your blender….

Now if your pumpkin is too dry to blend well, feel free to add some water or apple juice/cider to the blender to get things started.  But only a little bit!  You don't want watery pumpkin

Now if your pumpkin is too dry to blend well, feel free to add some water or apple juice/cider to the blender to get things started. But only a little bit! You don’t want watery pumpkin puree! ¬†And remember to blend in small batches for better consistency. And for those of you with really fresh or less cured pumpkins that DO have watery pumpkin puree, pour your puree into a cheesecloth or flour towel lined colander and let it sit and drain for a couple of hours. ¬†If you have a large, fine mesh strainer, that will work as well. ¬†Some pumpkin will squeeze out, but not much.

Now freeze it however you will in freezer containers or freezer bags. ¬†To make life easier on yourself, freeze it in cup amounts that match what you’ll use it for. ¬†For example, I have a cranberry pumpkin muffin recipe I love that requires 2 cups of puree. ¬†So I put two cups in a bag and freeze it. ¬†The night before I want to use it I put it in the fridge to thaw. ¬†But you could nuke it in the microwave on defrost in a pinch. ¬†Just be careful not to burn it!

The puree will keep up to six months in a regular freezer. ¬†But if you have access to a freezer chest and a FoodSaver, it’ll go a year easy. ¬†Enjoy!

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In Just Minutes, Clean The Seeds Out Of A Cooking Pumpkin

Time to get back to regular life.  I have been surprised at how difficult it has been to do things I enjoy. So a simple post to help get things rolling again.

Yes! ¬†I said cooking pumpkin! ¬†(My local farmer’s market is selling them for a dollar each.) ¬†I don’t know if you could do the following with a Halloween pumpkin unless it was big enough to get your hand and the fork inside. Yup, fork! Besides the obvious, a knife, you need a salad type fork and spoon. ¬†If you have a salad serving pair, that works even better.

Tools.

Tools.

Cut the head off your pumpkin.

Cut the head off your pumpkin.

Flip the pumpkin over and cut it in half. Once you're through the blossom spot you can usually wiggle the knife and pop the pumpkin in half.

Flip the pumpkin over and cut it in half. Once you’re through the blossom spot you can usually wiggle the knife and pop the pumpkin in half.

Drag the fork through the seeds.  They will start falling out with very little effort. You will leave behind nearly all the

Drag the fork through the seeds. They will start falling out with very little effort. You will leave behind nearly all the stringy stuff that is so hard to wash off.

This is what is will look like when you're done.

This is what is will look like when you’re done.

Scrape out the stringy stuff.

Scrape out the stringy stuff.

Now you get to use your imaginations!  

You know, make a picture in your head!

(In other words, I forgot to take a picture of the next step.)

Fill the bowl full of seeds with water and stir. The water will be orange, the seeds will float, and any chunky stuff will sink to the bottom of the bowl. Reach in there and scoop out the stuff on the bottom and dump the seeds into a colander for a final rinse.

There may or may not be a couple of orange bits still stuck to the seeds.  Your choice to remove them or not.  I'm not overly picky unless they're big enough to burn.

There may or may not be a couple of orange bits still stuck to the seeds. Your choice to remove them or not.  I took out those two pieces in the middle and ran the seeds under the faucet.

Now choose a drying method! Paper towels or real towels and dump the seeds out to pat them dry.

I like to dry mine on flour towels.  A spatula will take care of those sticky ones!

I like to dry mine on flour towels. A spatula will take care of those sticky ones!

Now pick your favorite pumpkin seed recipe, cook those seeds and enjoy!

Roasted Garlic Paste

I love garlic. ¬†Unfortunately, since the years when I was constantly fighting illnesses, garlic in quantity no longer likes me. ¬†That’s not to say I can’t eat it. ¬†I just can’t eat a lot at once or something that has a lot of garlic in it. ¬†Unless, of course, I’m willing to spend quite a bit of time in the bathroom.

I love getting baby garlic from one of my mom’s neighbors. ¬†Those wee cloves are just the right size for scrambled eggs. ¬†Or mincing into the tomatoes for bruschetta. ¬†Regular sized garlic I use for cooking. ¬†Or better yet, roasting! ¬†Roasted garlic doesn’t bother me like raw garlic. ¬†So I can eat a bit more of it. ūüôā

One of the ways I like to use roasted garlic is as a paste. ¬†You can “butter” your bread with it, mix it into butter to make garlic butter, or heck, just mix it into anything you want flavored with garlicky goodness (Mmmm, mashed potatoes!).

So here’s what you do:

  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Take the head of garlic and cut the tips off the cloves.
  • Then drizzle olive oil over and between the cloves.
  • Wrap it in aluminum foil, but do not seal it tight.
  • Cook it for 30 to 60 minutes. ¬†Just until the cloves give when you push on them. ¬†One head, depending on size, usually cooks 30 to 40 minutes. ¬†Six heads of garlic cooked at once, depending on size, will go 45 to 60 minutes.
  • When the garlic has cooled, squeeze it out of the cloves and mash it up. ¬†If you want it a little smoother, or want to make it go farther, mix in some olive oil to the consistency you want. ¬†Done!
  • One average head of garlic will make about a heaping tablespoonful of garlic paste.
Cloves tipped, olive oil drizzled, now pull up the foil and bake!

Cloves tipped, olive oil drizzled, now pull up the foil and bake! Oh! ¬†By the way! ¬†It smells kinda funky while it’s cooking. ¬†I don’t know if it’s the olive oil burning (some of the oil on the foil will burn) or a combination of hot foil and olive oil. But it smells funky.

Roasted and ready to squeeze!

Roasted and ready to squeeze and mash!

Roasted Garlic Paste!  This will easily keep a week in the fridge.  Assuming it even lasts that long! :D

Roasted Garlic Paste! This will easily keep a week in the fridge. Assuming it even lasts that long! ūüėÄ

Here's the first thing I put mine on!

Here’s the first thing I put mine on!

 

More Recipes for Saver and A Surprise Visitor

Saver of Bugs is now out of college and on her own. ¬†She’s sharing half a house with 4 other people. ¬†Regular cooking is now a necessity! ¬†Here you go, Saver! (I was thinking of making a page to put all the recipes in one place. ¬†What do you think?)

Tangy Chicken Legs (my kids call this Teriyaki chicken ūüôā )

from Fix-It and Forget-It 5-ingredient Favorites (Slow-Cooker recipes) by Phyllis Pellman Good

  • 8 chicken drumsticks
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • scant 1/8 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 cup water
  1. Place chicken in slow cooker.
  2. Combine remaining ingredients in a bowl and spoon over chicken.
  3. Cover and cook on Low 4-5 hours, or until chicken is tender but not dry

NOTES:

  • We double the ingredients for the sauce. ¬†We like extra juice for rice or noodles.
  • Thighs are good, too. ¬†We use boneless, skinless thighs.
  • I like to heat the sauce on the stove till it starts to boil and then pour it over the thighs which have already been put into the cooker. ¬†This gives it a jump-start on heating up.
  • If frozen, cook on high 2 hours then on low 2-3 hours.
  • When we have company, I cook 16 thighs all together and it turns out just fine. ¬†I triple the sauce recipe for this and stir the thighs half way through the cooking time.

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Since discovering this recipe, I have not cooked rice in a pot on the stove since.  This is the BEST rice recipe EVER!

Oven-Easy Rice

From the Spears Victorian Sampler Tea Room Cookbook

  • 3 c. boiling water
  • 1 1/2 c. uncooked regular rice
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt

Mix ingredients thoroughly in a 1 1/2 quart casserole.  Cover tightly with lid or aluminum foil (tight enough to prevent escape of steam).  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender.  Fluff with a fork and spoon into bowl to serve.  Makes about 6 servings.

NOTES:

  • I have found that 30 minutes is the best amount of time. ¬†Then let it sit 10 minutes still covered before fluffing to make sure all the liquid does get absorbed.
  • Feel free to add bouillon (leave out the salt if you do) or herbs or spices to flavor the rice.

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A Late Night Visitor

A Luna Moth!  These guys only live about 7 days.  This one kept banging itself against my window screen.  Eventually I had to go 'pop' it off the screen to get it to fly away.

A Luna Moth! These guys only live about 7 days. This one kept banging itself against my window screen. Eventually I had to go ‘pop’ it off the screen to get it to fly away. ¬†They are so beautiful!

 

This a picture of one from a couple of years ago.  Aren't they pretty?

This a picture of one from a couple of years ago. Aren’t they pretty?