April 9th, 2008
This last weekend was my sister-in-law’s wedding. The wedding was beautiful and my wife especially looked hot! I wasn’t part of the wedding party, but I did have the pleasure of cooking breakfast for the “day of.” She didn’t want to put me out or have me do any major cooking in the morning, so we decided on muffins and fresh fruit. After going to Costco and looking for muffins I decided they looked WAY too unhealthy (sugary and such) for a bridal party and to last them throughout the morning. I definitely didn’t want anyone having a sugar high and subsequent crash.
My solution was to bust out the muffin tins, whole wheat and go light on the sugar! The result was about 100 delicious small muffins. I made both pumpkin and banana muffins with hazelnuts in each and raisins in the pumpkin variety. Everything turned out good, except I wish I would have had riper bananas and I might add a little more oil, butter or milk next time to the banana muffins.
My wife and I also had a discussion about the whole wheat flour. We noticed that the flavor of these and other things I’ve made has been turning out weird with this brand of flour I have. I usually buy King Arthur Whole Wheat Flour which makes for great bread making too (I know I owe you this recipe sometime!). I think, even though the prices of wheat keep going up, I am going to have to keep buying this brand due to the quality. Of course, I used my wife’s Stahlbush Island Farm Organic Pumpkin again with great success!
I’m going to share the Pumpkin Raisin Hazelnut Muffin recipe. Here’s what I did:
- 1 cup regular flour (mix and match to your taste)
- 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup of raisins
- 1/2 cup to 1 cup of roughly chopped hazelnuts (walnuts work too) — try Hazelnut Hill!
- 1 can Farmer’s Market Organic Pumpkin (15-oz)
- 1/3 cup canola oil (or unsalted butter for a slightly richer flavor)
- 2 eggs, whisked
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/2 cup of sugar (down from 1 and 1/4 in the recipe I modified!!)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- pinch of fine sea salt
- cinnamon and sugar sprinkled on top right before baking
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees f.
- Pour about 2 cups of boiling water over the 1 cup of raisins to plump them for about 5 minutes, drain well before using.
- Place muffin liners in your muffin tin (this will make about 20 average sized muffins or about 12 large ones)
- In a small glass bowl mix flours and baking powder, set aside
- Mix together remaining ingredients until combined well to create a pumpkin mixture
- Add flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and mix only until just combined
- Fill muffin cups about 3/4 full and sprinkle cinnamon-sugar mixture on top of batter
- Bake for 20-30 minutes (depending on size) or until a toothpick comes out clean
- Remove from oven and let cool
I hope you enjoy them!
November 1st, 2007
I’ve noticed the pumpkin recipes on my blog have been pretty popular so I thought I would try another. I’ve been using Stahlbush’s “Farmer’s Market Foods Organic Canned Pumpkin” only, it’s straight from the processing plant where my wife works. All the food she brings home is a great perk of the job! It almost makes me wish I had her job!
I’ve never really made pumpkin cookies, nor do I remember what they are supposed to be like, but I sure can imagine. I envisioned an extremely moist, pumpkin/spices flavored goodness melting in my mouth. YUM! I just ate my sample cookie and the rest are now baking! It is good!
Keep in mind when looking at my list that I cut back on the sugar — they are still sweet and delicious. You can feel free to add up to 1 cup of sugar depending on your taste. I also added too much flour and for fun poured in a little heavy cream to thin out the dough. I still feel like this dough is missing something (perhaps more butter?), even though the cookies turned out good. I am going to continue reading my food science books so I can learn more about the science of what we bake. Here is how I did it (minus a little flour and the cream):
- 2 and 1/4 cups flour
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- a pinch of ground cloves
- a pinch of ground ginger
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup of Farmer’s Market Foods Organic Canned Pumpkin
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1/4 stick of butter — melted
Now to make the cookie dough:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
- Combine all the dry ingredients in a mixer or bowl
- Whisk the eggs until they are well beaten
- Add the pumpkin, vanilla and butter to the eggs and combine
- Mix the egg and pumpkin mixture into the mixer and mix well.
- Place about 24 large spoonfuls of the batter onto two cookie sheets and bake each for 15 to 18 minutes
- Cool and enjoy!
Here’s your chance to have your sweets and save the world too.
I hope you enjoy it!
October 28th, 2007
I’ve been reading a cookbook: Nightly Specials: 125 Recipes for Spontaneous, Creative Cooking at Home. I love how they combine simple recipes and ingredients to make delicious foods! I’ve already made a few things out of it including “Toasted Barley and Butternut Squash” and “Coffee Barbecue Sauce” with chicken. There are plenty more delicious-looking recipes in this book (like the Chicken Pot Pie), and since it’s only a loaner from the Library I think I’m going to have to buy it:
Well anyway, I promised you a recipe with my homemade chicken broth and I keep my promises. The Toasted Barley and Butternut Squash looked really good in the book’s picture and it was good! It uses homemade chicken stock and maple syrup, but my wife said to use less maple syrup next time — it was a little sweet for dinner.
I didn’t actually use butternut squash, since I didn’t have any. I grew a small garden outside my duplex this year and had an acorn squash plant. From that ONE plant I must have harvested over 25 acorn squash and so I had plenty to spare!
One last note, this dinner goes GREAT with the pumpkin dinner rolls! Try it tonight!
Here’s what I did:
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 cup barley
- 2 cups of homemade chicken stock
- 1 large Acorn Squash (the recipe actually calls for butternut squash, so use that if you have it)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tsp total of Kosher salt and whole pepper kernels ground
- 3 tablespoons of maple syrup (the recipe calls for 3, I’d reduce it to 1 tablespoon next time)
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
- Melt the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat
- Add the onion and cook until it starts to brown
- Add the raw barley and cook it for about 3 minutes
- Pour in the hot broth, stir and simmer uncovered until the broth is absorbed and the barley is tender (about 40 minutes)
- Take your squash (chopped into cubes) and oil and toss in a bowl. Season it with the salt and pepper, toss again.
- Turn it out onto a cookie sheet in a single layer and roast it in the oven until tender (about 15 minutes).
- Add the syrup and other spices and stir.
- Roast for another 10 minute
- Now, stir the squash into the barley, serve and enjoy!
I hope you enjoy it!
October 23rd, 2007
I guess there is a lot of pumpkin to go around this time of year. This is my third pumpkin recipe in the last few weeks. Even after this recipe, I still have fresh pumpkin left. My wife works for Stahlbush Island Farms and has brought home a lot of organic pumpkin (it’s one of their bigger products) for us to enjoy.
She tried the pumpkin rolls and thought that they were really good. I especially like them hot out of the oven (even if I have to reheat them there). Here’s what I did to make them (based off of “Mom’s Pumpkin Dinner Rolls Recipe“).
Ingredients (for 12 rolls):
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of good Active Dry Yeast.
- 1 Tablespoon of sugar
- 1/2 cup of 110 degree (Fahrenheit) milk
- About 4 cups of flour (add more as you need when kneading)
- 1 cup Organic Canned Pumpkin
- 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
- 3/4 stick of butter (< 1/2 cup)
- 1 egg, beaten a bit
- Mix yeast and sugar into the milk and let the yeast grow for about 10 to 15 minutes. If it doesn’t grow (bubble and foam) then neither will your rolls so go get some new yeast! I get mine from our local co-op (First Alternative Co-Op) in bulk and it hasn’t failed me yet!
- Combine all the dry ingredients into a bowl
- Chop the butter into bits and mix it into the dry ingredients
- Add the egg, pumpkin and foamy yeast mixture
- Mix everything together until its all combined
- Next, take the dough and knead it on a floured surface (and keep it floured on top and bottom to keep from sticking on you and the surface) for about 10 minutes.
- If you are in a hurry you can skip this step but your rolls might not be as good. Set the dough in a bowl and cover with a tea towel for about 1 hour (or until it doubles in size). Indeed, I was in a hurry and skipped this step so please comment if you include it and let me know how it turns out.
- Punch the dough down and separate into 12 balls.
- Place the balls on an oiled baking tray (or use a springform pan or glass baking dish) and let them rise for another 45 minutes.
- Bake the rolls for 30-40 minutes or until they just turn golden at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
I think the two keys to baking bread, rolls, and similar recipes are:
- Let the yeast active for about 10-15 minutes with a little sugar or honey using 110 to 120 degree water (or milk in this case). I have been baking bread for some time now and ever since I started doing this my dough has turned out wonderfully.
- Knead the dough for at least 10 minutes. I used to be afraid of kneading because I thought it would make the bread tough, but I think the exact opposite is true. This allows the yeast to work through the flour and helps it to rise. Now my only problem with baking bread is that it rises TOO MUCH, but that’s a story for another day of blogging.
I hope you enjoy them!