I made these one morning when I had some extra time before work:

Obviously, these are much better fresh. They are very slightly curry flavoured, but I bet they’d be good if you did sweet seasonings (a little sugar, cinnamon, etc.) as a dessert fritter with some ice cream or something.

Sometimes though, the sweet pumpkin stuff can be a little overwhelming, which is why I always make a curry soup with my pumpkin.

I follow this recipe exactly, and every time it’s delicious. DOUBLE PUMPKIN CURRY POWER in this meal right here.

Pumpkin thing #4: Frozen Yogurt!

A trip to the MOA revealed one surprise for which I was hoping, and one completely unexpected and slightly surreal surprise.

First, Pumpkin Thing #4: Frozen Yogurt!

This was really, really good. I topped it with graham cracker crumbs.

Also, who knew that Santa really liked to eat at Tony Roma’s in the off season?

Seriously, there were a dozen or more Santas all in the same place. It was weird and hilarious. Can you imagine being a 5-year old walking with Mom or Dad through MOA and all of a sudden, dozens of Santas? Or being drunk/high and seeing that? We were explaining this to some stoner guy working at Superdry and his eyes got really big and he was all “WHOA.”

I made A LOT of dessert last weekend. I started out wanting to make mini pumpkin cheesecakes, so I took some Biscoff (the same cookies you get on Delta flights) and graham crackers and butter and made some crusts in the bottom of 12 cupcake liners. When I made my cheesecake filling, I was too lazy to open a new package of cream cheese, so I just used the half-package and adjusted.

Here’s where things went a little wonky.

Turns out that only makes enough filling for 8 cheese-cup-cakes (though I should have made 6, really, they should have been filled all the way to the top.) which left me with 4 crusts with no filling. At this point, I decided the best course of action was to make an apple pie. I could just put some of the apple filling in the remaining cups, and since I was using a crumb topping and not a pie crust topping, I’d put that on the little pies too! It would work perfectly!

Except, of course, that the filling I had was barely enough for the pie I was making since the only pie pan I have is DEEP. I managed to eke out two minipies, but there were still two crumb crusts left. Well crap. I just chopped up some apples, mixed them with brown sugar, flour, and craisins and said to hell with it.

I am pleased to announce that not only was my pie the best fucking apple pie EVER…

All three of my mini desserts turned out pretty good as well. So good, even when I dropped a bunch of them they all held their shape!

The pumpkin cheesecakes were a real accomplishment for me though. I don’t bake very often, I’m more of a “make dinner” person than I am a “make dessert” person, so I’d never made cheesecake before. And I was convinced I was doing it completely wrong because they took SO LONG to finish baking, almost triple the time for every recipe I checked.

They are for reals delicious. Better than plain cheesecake. It’s going on my “make every fall” list.

Apple Picking!

Every fall, I go to an orchard to pick a buttload of apples and pumpkins. I start looking forward to doing this around July, like an antsy kid waiting for Halloween. It was unreasonably warm when we went picking, so it felt a bit strange and un-autumnlike. However, I get to see some of my favourite kids around and spend the morning wandering through the orchard and acting nonsense on a playground.

The bright sunny day made for better pictures than it would have if it was overcast, and since the leaves were changing already, despite the temperature (something in the 80s!) the whole place felt warm and happy.

I got a big bag (maybe a little less than 1/2 bushel) each of Haralsons, Honey Golds, and Honey Crisps. I’ve been eating all of them pretty much every day, but there has been one FANTASTIC pie made so far, and I may try to find a way to make and freeze another pie.

I got two pumpkins too, but the pumpkin patches weren’t as photogenic as the orchards. I had a difficult time finding two pumpkins suitable for my purposes, but I did manage at the end. Many many pumpkin things await!

Pumpkin Thing #2: Seeds two ways!

I did my apple and pumpkin picking about a week ago (I’ll do a post on that later) and did my pumpkin roasting the next day. Along with pumpkin roasting comes pumpkin SEED roasting. The first pumpkin only gave me about 1.5 cups of seeds, so I had to improvise a little bit with the roasting, and decided to spice things up a bit this go round. I used 1 tsp of olive oil and one tsp of butter for each 0.5 cups of seeds, then added seasoning to suit.

In the back, we have parmesan roasted seeds. These were super tasty and a good little savoury snack. Easy peasy, as much grated parmesan cheese as you want (I think I used 2tbsp per half cup of seeds, but I didn’t really measure).
In the front, cinnamon sugar roasted seeds. If, like me, you have an incorrigible sweet tooth, these are your jammy. Per half cup of seeds and fats as above, 2 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon (or more, again kinda eyeballed it) and a pinch or two of nutmeg.
Tray was roasted pretty low temp, probably 300 or 325, for maybe 40 minutes. I watched them to make sure they didn’t burn) the cinnamon sugar ones are especially susceptible to this) but I think the temps were low enough that they dried and roasted nicely. They were so tasty I wish I had more seeds!

Pumpkin thing #1: BEER

I’m starting my pumpkination celebration with a libation. See that label? It says “Ale Brewed With Pumpkins”

Okay, the label is hard to read, but there’s a bigass pumpkin right on it, so trust me, it says it has pumpkin in it. I think I read somewhere that a number of places had run out of this particular pumpkin beer (made by Southern Tier brewery?) so I guess a gold star for me for getting one. It was, I suppose, as pumpkiny as you could expect a beer to be, but it was almost overwhelmed by the hoppiness and spiciness. All told, a decent way to start my pumpkin-flavoured journey.

Pumpkin Things!

I am one of those people who spends the entire month of October eating as many pumpkin-based foodstuffs on which I can get my hands. If I recall correctly, last year I had 16, so that’s the goal for this year. I do, however have some very important rules and all pumpkin-based foodstuffs must meet the following criteria:

1. All items must be actually pumpkin flavoured. I like pumpkin spice as much as the next guy, but that doesn’t count. It should have actual pumpkin in it.
1a. The SINGLE SOLITARY EXCEPTION to this rule is pumpkin seeds. I pick pumpkins and roast both the pumpkin and the seeds from my bounty, so I feel like I earn that one. I’m not sure that I’d count it if I just bought them, but because I saw them come out of a pumpkin with my own eyes, they count.
2. Homemade pumpkin items can count, but you have to be reasonable about it. Pumpkin quick bread and muffins ARE THE SAME THING. Pumpkin cake and cupcakes ARE THE SAME THING. Making five variations of pumpkin bread doesn’t mean you can count five things. Variety is the point!
2a. Similar things can count separately if there is a markedly discernible difference between the two. For example, I have two different pumpkin beers this year. One is brewed only with pumpkins, one is brewed with pumpkins, cranberries, and other stuff. I suspect they will taste completely different. This makes them different enough to count as separate entities.
3. Like rule 2, purchased pumpkin things count, but buying different brands does not count as separate pumpkin-based foodstuffs. Once I have pumpkin pie yogurt from one brand, no other brand of pumpkin pie yogurt counts.

Now that we’ve established the rules, I’ll be posting my pumpkin-based foodstuff adventures for the rest of the month! Hooray!

Running in the park

I like to run, and I run a lot.  I’m not particularly good at it, and I’m definitely not attractive when I do it, but I almost always feel better after I do it.  When I’m traveling, I try to figure out a way to run wherever I am.  I’ve spent some time running around parking lots and through those weird housing developments, and doing that kind of sucks.  I was rewarded, however, by the opportunity to run around St. Croix State Park recently.

I go running as early as possible. I don’t use an alarm clock, so when I’m at home this means any time between 7am and 8am. When I’m not at home though, I’m usually on a schedule, so this morning, I think I probably got to the park around 6:45.

A few weeks ago, St Croix State Park was hit by a tornado. Now, this park is huge. Huge enough that there were distinct sections of the park that were very obviously wrecked, and distinct sections that were nearly untouched.

It was strange to drive through about two miles of completely normal looking forest, then all of a sudden, be surrounded by bent, flattened, broken forest. All told though, it was a beautiful morning and a beautiful run. I did see four white-tail deer, but they were too quick for me to photograph.

So, here’s an idea so brilliant that I can’t believe I haven’t seen someone else do it before:  Chocolate Chip Pretzel Cookies!

I saw the idea on Macheesmo, which is one of my new favourite cooking/recipe sites, and said duh, of course. I didn’t use his cookie recipe, intruiging as it is, because I don’t usually have cake flour. I instead used this one and just smooshed broken up pretzel into the top of the dough before baking them. To be honest, they were freaking delicious.

Coming up this week: A run in the park, a lot of pumpkin things, and apple picking!


So, when I have too much time in the morning, I usually do some cooking.  This morning, it was egg pancakes/crepes/french omelets!

Ingredients (*these are optional and customizable, duh):

Egg Pancake Batter (I really like food52.com’s recipe)
*Ham (deli meat for me)
*Cheese (I used Gruyere this time)
*Diet Mountain Dew (for powering up)

1. Pour some batter into a smallish frying pan and swirl it around just a little. Don’t use too much batter or you’ll make a regular pancake instead.

2. When it starts to look solid on top (kind of like rubber or plastic) flip that bad boy over. I do this by wildly flailing around until it flips. If you’re a coward, you could use two pans. DO NOT, under any circumstances, try to grab it with tongs or a fork or something, or it will fall apart and you’ll have to eat it in pieces, salted with your own tears.

3. Let that side cook for a minute or so, and add your fillings. Don’t use too much!

4. Fold it up. The easiest way to do this, I think, is to fold one third over the toppings, then roll the whole thing over the last third, so the overlap is in the bottom of the pan.

I gave one to my husband as a snack, and packed the other two into my bento for lunch today. YAY!