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Archive for October, 2011

Its officially pumpkin season!   Really it has been for some time now.  I love baking with pumpkin beyond the usual pumpkin pie.  These pumpkin brownies I make every year for some occasion, or just because I want eat a whole pan of brownies on my own and feel no shame about it.  The only downside is that every photo I took of my batch of brownies for this post didn’t come out.  All so blurry that even photoshop cannot redeem them.  So just trust me that these are delicious and worthy of taking the time to bake…

 

Pumpkin Chocolate Brownies – 1 rolling pin (Adapted from Very Best Baking)

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (like canola)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips

Prep:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit.
  2. Grease a 9×9 inch square pan with butter.
  3. In a small bowl separate the two egg whites.

Bake:

  1. In a large bowl combine the pumpkin, brown sugar, 1 egg and egg whites, and oil.
  2. Stir until well combined.
  3. Add to the bowl the flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and salt.
  4. Stir until everything is combined and there are no lumps of flour.
  5. Add to the bowl the chocolate chips and stir until just evenly incorporated.
  6. Carefully pour the batter into the baking pan, making sure its spread evenly.
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  With my oven I usually need to bake for the full 20 minutes.
  8. Allow the brownies to cool, serve and enjoy!

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Fall has arrived.  The air is cool and crisp, the leaves are turning, and I’m under a quilt as I type this on the couch.  One of the best parts of fall is the squashes that comes into season.  One of the most popular is butternut squash.  I figure its popularity stems from the fact that it is very user friendly, and you can buy it pre-chopped at the grocery store.  Sometimes convenience is everything.

I will say, I am a big fan of a warm and velvety butternut squash soup.  This soup is just that, plus it’s relatively simple to make.  The key to this soup lies with your blender.  Just be sure to blend in batches.  Even if your blender can hold all of the liquid, the warm stuff will expand in your blender and cause a mess.  Just trust me on this one…

 A bowl for now, and some saved for work later!

Butternut Squash Soup – 1 Knife (Adapted from Everyday Food Magazine)

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 white onion
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 3 pounds butternut squash
  • 1 14.5 oz can of chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Prep:

  1. If working with a whole butternut squash, peel and remove any seeds.  Then cut the squash into 1 inch chunks.
  2. If working with pre-cut squash be sure the chunks are all about 1 inch in size, and cut down any chunks that are too large.
  3. Peel the onion and chop into a coarse/thick dice.

Cook:

  1. In a large pot over medium heat melt the butter.
  2. Add onions and salt to the pot, and cook until the onions are softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add butternut squash to the pot, chicken stock, and enough water to cover the contents of the pot and raise the heat to high.
  4. Bring the pot to a boil, and then lower the heat to medium.
  5. Simmer the squash until tender, about 20 minutes.
  6. In batches puree broth and vegetables in a blender until smooth. Transfer pureed soup into a clean pot.
  7. Season the soup with additional salt (if desired), pepper and lemon juice.
  8. Once soup is seasoned to preference, serve and enjoy!

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