Thursday, October 30, 2014

30 Days of Pumpkin-Day Twenty-nine: Pumpkin Focaccia

This Pumpkin Focaccia from Oven Love turned out just lovely.  I was looking for something to have with baked spaghetti and this fit the bill!  This is another pumpkin recipe that doesn't taste like pumpkin at all.  The pumpkin's just there to keep the dough moist and to lend it some wonderful golden orange color.

The Focaccia is even great dipped straight into marinara.

Pumpkin Parmesan Focaccia Bread via Oven Love
½ c lukewarm water
1 t honey
1 T active dry yeast
2 c bread flour
1 1/2 c whole wheat flour
1 c canned pumpkin (Not pumpkin pie filling)
2 T olive oil
1 t salt
½ t onion powder
½ t garlic powder
olive oil, sea or kosher salt, rosemary, thyme and grated parmesan cheese for topping

In standmixer combine water, honey and yeast. Let sit 5 min. With a dough hook, mix flours, pumpkin, olive oil, salt, onion  and garlic powder for several min. Turn dough onto a clean surface and knead with hands for a couple more min. Coat lg bowl with little olive oil, toss in dough turning coat once to coat, and cover in plastic wrap.  Let rise for about an hour. Preheat the oven to 450F.  Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.  Remove dough and spread out on sheet with fingers as  a pizza crust.  Poke surface of dough with fingertips.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, rosemary, thyme and parmesan cheese.  Bake until golden brown, about 15-20 min.  Let cool, slice with a pizza cutter .

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

30 Days of Pumpkin-Day Twenty-eight: Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip

I decided to make this dip from A Spotted Pony because I had 4oz of cream cheese left over from a different recipe.  4oz of cream cheese made a half recipe. 

I thought that the half recipe was quite a lot of dip.  Perhaps this was because I didn't particularly care for the dip.  Perhaps the dip just wasn't  cheesecake-y enough for my tastes.  Anyway, Mrblocko loved the dip with graham crackers and apples.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip via A Spotted Pony
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 c powdered sugar
scant 3/4c pumpkin
1/2 t pumpkin pie spice
1 t vanilla
1/2 t cinnamon

Beat softened cream cheese with powdered sugar. Gradually add pumpkin, pie spice, vanilla and cinnamon; beat until smooth. Chill for at least 1 hr to blend flavors. Serve with graham crackers, apples, pears or gingersnaps.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

30 Days of Pumpkin-Day Twenty-seven: Pumpkin Sausage Pasta Bake

I love pasta with a white sauce.  Mrblocko prefers red sauce so we don't have it very often.  This sauce is really a version of Bechemel sauce, so if you're familiar with that, or even making a roux/gravy, this dish will be a breeze for you.

As usual, I made a few changes to this recipe. The biggest one being I added a pound of spicy or Italian sausage. I also swapped out the ricotta for cottage cheese.

Now, I've had some pumpkin pasta disasters in the past.  Thankfully, this was not one that was added to that list!  The pumpkin in this dish acts as a vehicle for cheese.  I'd say the cheese overwhelms the pumpkin which is not a bad thing.  Just be aware, if you are looking for this meal to taste like pumpkin, you will be disappointed.  Get that thought out of your head and you'll sit down to a scrumptious meal!

Pumpkin Sausage Pasta Bake adapted from A family feast
3/4 pound dry pasta (I used a mix of leftover tube shaped noodles like cavatappi, rigatoni and penne)
1 lb bulk hot or italian sausage

Pumpkin filling
1 c pumpkin
1 c small curd cottage cheese
1 egg, slightly beaten
½ c grated parmesan cheese (I used the stuff in the green container...gasp!)
½ t nutmeg
Pinch of white pepper
1 t parsley

White Sauce
1/3 c butter
1 T chopped fresh sage
3 heaping T flour
1 c milk (i used skim)
1 c chicken stock
¼ teaspoon white pepper
Pinch  nutmeg
¼ t mustard powder

2 cups shredded mozzarella or Italian blend cheese

Cook pasta to al dente. Drain. While pasta cooking, brown sausage, drain.
To make the pumpkin filling: In med bowl, combine pumpkin, cottage cheese, egg, Parmesan , nutmeg, sausage, white pepper and parsley. Mix well and set aside. To make the white sauce: nuke stock and milk for a few min to remove the chill.  Set aside. In sm sauce pan melt butter over med heat and add sage. Saute 4 min. Add flour. Cook 3 more min. Slowly add hot stock and milk to butter and flour mix, 1/4c at a time, whisking each time. Add salt, pepper, nutmeg and dry mustard. Stir to combine and remove from heat. Heat oven to 375 F.  To assemble: In 9x13 dish, layer ingredients as follows: 1/4th  White Sauce, 1/3rd pasta, 1/3rd Pumpkin filling and 1/4th  mozzarella. Repeat  layers 2 times. Then add one last layer of white sauce and mozzarella. Bake uncovered  30-40 min til top golden and bubbly.

Monday, October 27, 2014

30 Days of Pumpkin-Day Twenty-six: Pumpkin Oatmeal Cinnamon Raisin Bars

I haven't had the best of luck in the past making granola bars.  I think it's because I have this notion that granola bars should be crunchy.  These bars were not crunchy, but they held together much better than other soft granola bars I've made in the past. They were a big hit with Mrblocko and Blockette.

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cinnamon Raisin Bars adapted from Katrina's Kitchen

2 c old fashioned oats
1/2 c coarse chopped almonds
1/2 c ground flax seed
1 t cinnamon
3/4 t salt
1/2 t t ginger
1/4 t t cloves
1/2 c pumpkin
1/2 c applesauce
1/4 c honey
1/4 c pancake syrup
1 t vanilla
1/4 c cinnamon chips
1/4 c golden raisins

Pre-heat oven to 350 F and spray an 8 x 8 baking pan with Pam. In lg bowl, mix oats through cloves.
In med bowl, whisk  pumpkin through vanilla. Slowly add wet to dry until combined. Add chips and raisins. Pour in pan, bake 30 min til browned slightly. Cool completely before cutting.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

30 Days of Pumpkin-Day Twenty-five: Maple Pumpkin Bean Quesadilla

These Maple Pumpkin Bean Quesadillas were a real surprise.  I made them one day for lunch when I was home by myself.  So I didn't have to share! 

While beans and pumpkin aren't something I'd think of combining, they really work in this recipe.  The beans and pumpkin prevent each other from becoming too overwhelming.  Both flavors are present, but not overwhelming.  The sweet from the maple and salty from the cheese are also complimentary to each other. 

This is a fun lunchtime treat for when the pumpkin craving hits!

Maple-Pumpkin White Bean Quesadilla via
 2 tortillas
1 t coconut oil (I used olive oil)
1/4 c vegan cheese shreds, jack or mozzarella flavor (I used cheddar jack)
1/4 c canned white beans, drained and rinsed (I used leftover cooked from dried beans)
1 t maple syrup, grade B (I used pancake syrup)
2-3 Tcanned pumpkin puree, unsweetened
1/8 t salt
pinch of garlic powder, cinnamon, black pepper and cayenne

Pumpkin Dipping Sauce: 2 T pumpkin puree
pinch of salt, black pepper, cinnamon and cayenne
1 T hummus (or a splash of melted coconut oil) (I used olive oil again)
2 t maple syrup (I used pancake syrup)

  Spread pumpkin on tortilla, then beans.  Mash beans with a fork.  Heat pan over high.  Add oil. Place beaned up tortilla in pan when pan is heated. Add cheese, spices and syrup.  Prep your tortilla by slathering the pumpkin over the inside. Then add the beans and smash them into the tortilla with a fork. Top with remaining tortilla.  Cook for 1-2 min on each side until they are golden brown and crispy.  cut into wedges.

For sauce: Combine all ingredients and nuke for 30 sec.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

30 Days of Pumpkin-Day Twenty-four: Crusted Pumpkin French Toast

This recipe is a mash up!  I got the idea from The Dainty Chef  and  Tastes Better From Scratch.

The pumpkin made the French Toast a little bit on the soggy side.  I prefer a crunchy, more toast like texture to my French Toast.  A lot of people seem to like the soggier variety though.  I used homemade bread which probably aided in the soft structure of the final product.

Crusted Pumpkin French Toast 
10-14 slices whole wheat sandwich bread (the heartier the bread, the less soggy the final product)
3 eggs
1/2 c milk
3/4 c canned pumpkin
1/2 t pumpkin pie spice
1/2 t cinnamon
1 t vanilla
2-4 c crushed cornflakes (Amt will depend on size of bread slices

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, pumpkin and pie spice until smooth. Place crushed flakes on plate. Quickly dip each side of the bread in pumpkin mixture, then in crushed flakes. Cook on a hot, greased griddle or skillet. Flip after 1 – 2 minutes, toast until desired crispness achieved.

Friday, October 24, 2014

30 Days of Pumpkin-Day Twenty-three: Oatmeal Pumpkin Mug Cake

Mrblocko is not the biggest fan of mug cakes.  This Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Mug Cake from French Press has totally made a convert out of him.

I'm calling this a mug cake, but it's really somewhere between a mug cake, cookie and oatmeal.  What's not to love with that sort of hybrid!

Oatmeal Pumpkin Mug Cookie Cake via French Press
1 T butter melted
2 T brown sugar
1/4 t vanilla
2 T pumpkin puree
1/4 c oats
1 T flour
pinch of salt
pinch of pumpkin pie spice
handful of chocolate chips

Combine all the ingredients in a microwave safe mug. Nuke on high 45-60 sec depending on the strength/wattage of your microwave.