Tag Archives: Pumpkin

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

2 Dec

Today my sweet tooth won out, sigh.  I’ve been eating healthy all week to recover from my  turkey bender last week.  I was cleaning my kitchen and putting away my groceries, when I noticed a lonely little can of pumpkin left in my cabinet.  Actually, a bag of mini chocolate chips hit me in the head when I opened my cabinet as I attempted to restock my olive oil, and I then spotted the pumpkinI took the not so subtle hint that I deserved a reward and whipped up this Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread (adapted from Alton Brown)

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 and 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 15 oz can of pumpkin (not pie filling)
  • 1/2  cup mini semi-sweet baking chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Whisk the flour, cinnamon, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together.

In a separate bowl, mix the sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla. Combine both mixtures, and add the pumpkin. Once combined, add the chocolate chips to the batter, and stir. 

Pour batter into a non stick 9 by 5 by 3-inch loaf pan.  If your pan is not non stick coat it with butter and flour.  Bake for 1 hour and 15 mins.  At this point a knife inserted into the middle of the loaf should come out clean.  Cool for 15 minutes if you can wait, and turn out onto a cooling rack.

You could also turn this recipe into adorable muffins.  Prepare the same batter and bake in muffin tins for 30 mins at 325 degrees.

So have a slice!  You know you earned it ;).

It’s A Pumpkin Off!

2 Nov

This past Sunday I went to an Iron Chef Pumpkin Competition.  It was exactly like Iron Chef, well except there were way more chefs, we could prepare our items in advance, and we washed everything down with frosty beers, pumpkin beers.  Ok, so it was actually a way more humane pumpkin-off, but the competition was still fierce.  

Prior to the party we all submitted our dishes over evite.  I did my best to capture all of the pumpkin-filled dishes, but will admit to missing a few desserts.  Sorry!  I was just too busy eating them to take the pictures.  Priorities people!  Shoutouts to the missing and delish Pumpkin Pie Cake, Pumpkin Tiramisu, and Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Dulce de Leche Sauce

I know what you’re  thinking, you wish you had friends like these don’t you ;).  Here’s a full gallery of my pictures.  Hover over each picture for the name of the dish.  

Allez! Cuisinez!

Take Two! PCR Bread Pudding

15 Sep

Mmm mmm!  Weren’t those pumpkin cinnamon rolls delish?  If you are like me, you ate plenty, but still had a hard time getting through all of them before they went stale.  Lucky for you, I have a solution!  Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Bread PuddingGasp, yes I am serious. The best part is you’ve already done the hard part and it takes very few ingredients to pull this recipe off.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Bread Pudding (serves 8 )

  • 8 Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups half and half (or whole milk)
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • a sprinkle of cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar 
  • Cooking spray

  

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray and add chopped up leftover rolls. 

In a separate bowl, mix the half and half, eggs, cinnamon, salt and vanilla extract with a whisk.  Pour the liquid over your chopped up rolls and let soak for 20 mins.  You’ll know it’s ready when some of the liquid is absorbed back into the rolls.  Bake for 45 mins.  Sprinkle brown sugar over bread putting and bake for an additional 5-10 mins. 

Voila!  Your custard should be set.  If not, just add a few more mins.  This is a great way to use up leftovers and create a wonderful dessert.  It’s so good you’ll forget you are eating leftovers ;).

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

11 Sep

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!  Oh how I love thee, Fall.  If you remember my Top 5 post, you’ll know that cinnamon rolls are a real favorite of mine.  There’s just nothing better.  In fact, the only way to improve a traditional roll is to add a punch of pumpkin

This recipe is from one of my favorite blogs called Good Life Eats.   It’s a bit involved, and you have to work with yeast, but the results are just scrumptious!

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls (adapted from Good Life Eats)

Dough Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup warm water (not hot)
  • 1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup warm milk (I used skim)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 tbs melted butter
  • 3 1/4 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Filling Ingredients:

  • 1 stick butter
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp cloves

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp lemon juice
  • 2-3 cups powdered sugar

First, stir your yeast into warm water in a large bowl.  Let it sit for 5 mins before stirring to combine.  Add the milk, eggs, pumpkin, butter, 1 1/4 cups flour, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and ginger to the yeast mixture. Beat vigorously for 2 mins.

Slowly add in the remaining flour, a little bit at a time, until the dough is stiff enough to knead. Begin with 1 1/2 cups of flour and increase if necessary. Knead the dough on a floured surface.  Add additional flour until you have a smooth, elastic dough.

Put the dough in a greased bowl. Coat the entire dough ball in the bowl with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until doubled, approximately 1 hr.

Combine the white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, nutmeg and cloves in a another bowl, and set aside. Transfer the risen dough to a lightly greased work surface, and pat or roll it into rectangle. Spread softened butter over dough and then sprinkle with the sugar mixture.

Roll the dough into a log the long way; it’ll stretch to about 20″ long as you roll. Using a very sharp knife (I sprayed my with cooking spray), slice the log into 15 slices. You’ll need to wipe the knife off between slices. Place slices in a greased 9×13 inch baking pan (or in two 8 or 9 inch round cake or pie pans). Cover with a towel and let rise (again) until almost doubled, about 45 mins.  I’ll be honest here, my dough didn’t rise as much as I would have hoped.  I can promised that it didn’t affect the taste in the least.

Bake in a preheated 375° oven. The rolls should take about 20-30 mins, and will look brown around the edges and a light golden brown across the center.

While rolls bake, you can prepare the cream cheese frosting.  Add the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and lemon juice to a small food processor. Blend until smooth and combined.  Add the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, blending in between, until well-mixed.  Here’s where you get to decide how thin or thick your like your frosting!  Frost warm rolls with the cream cheese frosting and serve immediately.

These were ooey gooey good!  Stay tuned because I have a great way to use up the rest of your leftover rolls later this week.

Thai X-ing Review

5 Sep

Hi friends!  We’re friends right?  I’m asking because friends can keep a secret, and I am about to write about one of the best kept secrets in DC.

I first heard about Thai X-ing from my much cooler, more adventurous, younger sister K-mac.  She told me that 20 of her friends were having her birthday dinner in this guy’s house in Shaw, it was seven plus courses of Thai food, byob, and cash only.  Let’s just say I did not have high hopes.

As usual (and I may never live this down), she was right about this place.  It’s legit.  I went for a second time on Friday for a friend’s going-away party.  The food was so good, I thought we might have changed the guest of honor’s mind!

Here’s a look at our meal to the best of my recollection.  I’m not 100% sure on the names of all of these courses, as the chef changes his menu frequently for the group dining option.

Course #1  Stuffed Cucumber and Ground Pork Soup.

Course #2 Spicy Ginger Ground Chicken with Parsley. This dish is so hot it gets your adrenaline going like a roller coaster.  While the carnivores sweated our way through this dish, the chef served my veg sister a spicy cabbage noodle dish (not pictured).

Course #3 Pumpkin CurryThis dish is a house specialty and I heard the chef serves it regularly with the group menu.  Frankly, I would have been happy just having this dish for dinner! 

Course # 4 Steamed Whole Fish with Garlic Pepper Sauce.

Course #5 included a Tofu and Bean dish (above) and a Beef and Eggplant Stir Fry (not pictured).

Course # 6 Chicken Drumsticks in Cinnamon CurryAgain, I’m not sure what else was in this rich curry, but there was definitely a note of cinnamon in the background.

Course # 7 Red Mussels (above) and Drunken Noodles (below).

Course # 8 Sliced Mango with Coconut Sticky Rice.  I’m not really a mango-lover, but still ate a piece.  The sticky rice was just awesome and I could probably eat it everyday.

I’m giving the food an A for authenticity and overall amazingness.  Since I really only care about the food…my Overall Rating is an A for Thai-XingThis place has no ambiance (and no shoes permitted), so bring excellent company and wear comfortable clothes.  

As my friends, I invite you to check this place out.  But shhhhhhh!  Let’s keep this place on the down-low, and to quote the great Adam Sandler, “no-one gots to know about it!”

My Attempt at Thundercake

27 Jan

Yesterday evening the DC area got our first real snow storm of the year.  But it wasn’t your average storm, instead we had thundersnow and thundersleet.  The storm moved in quickly, the traffic was horrific, and many areas lost power.  I was one of the few lucky ones to make it through the storm without issue, so I decided to celebrate by making Thundercake.  Well, actually I started off cleaning, then was invited for a glass of wine with one of my apt. friends, then made dinner, and that all led to the thundercake experiment.  

Honestly, what else were we supposed to do while we were snowed in?  This is the story of a cake using some of my favorite flavors and the icing that almost wasn’t. 

Everything started out so simple.  I pulled out a box of leftover spice cake mix, canned pumpkin, nutella, and cream cheese from the fridge.  Most people have these ingredients lying around in a snow storm right?   

Back to the cake.  I followed the box instructions that said to combine the mix with 3 eggs and vegetable oil.  I then mixed it until the ingredients were incorporated and poured the batter into a greased baking dish.

I decided that this spice cake needed a little something extra, so I added 4 tsp of nutella to the batter and ran a knife through the nutella to make a pretty swirl design.

I popped the cake into a 350 degree preheated oven and baked for about 38 minutes.  Now it was time to find a frosting recipe.  I decided to turn to my trusty food network website and found a Rachael Ray recipe for pumpkin cream cheese frosting.  Perfect!  I looked at the recipe and realized I didn’t have everything I needed.  That should have stopped me in my tracks, it didn’t. 

Too late to turn back, I needed frosting stat.  So, I tried to find similar ingredients in my fridge/cupboards and make substitutions.  The recipe called for 8 oz of cream cheese and I only had 4 oz, so I substituted 4 oz of nonfat plain yogurt to get the tang.  Strike 1.

The recipe then said to add 1/2 of a can of pumpkin, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract.  I was able to do this correctly, but was lacking an orange to zest, so left this out.  Strike 2.

I was then supposed to beat all of these ingredients together and slowly add 3 and 1/2 cups of powdered sugar to the mix.  I was a 1/2 cup short, but actually this worked out fine because 3 cups was already tooth-achingly sweet.  No strikes there.

Try as I might I could not get my frosting to whip up.  I really needed more cream cheese or yogurt with a higher fat content to thicken it.  So after bringing in RB and G for a cake consult, I decided to add more yogurt and the remaining 1/2 can of pumpkin.  Strike 3. 

This produced what can only be described as sweet orange gloop.  I was about to throw in the frosting towl and settle for boring spice nutella cake on it’s own (I know I’m being overly dramatic but I REALLY wanted frosting).  When my two friends gallantly offered to hit the market in our basement in search of more cream cheese while I resumed pouting over my bowl.

A few quick minutes later I was back in business.  I whipped the new 8 oz container of cream cheese with 1/3 or 1/4 of the sweet orange gloop.  I honestly have no idea how much I poured in and was beyond precise measuments at this time.  To my surprise, this combo made an amazing thick and tangy cream cheese frosting.  Seriously, this stuff was crazy good.  As in we were all scraping the excess out of the mixing bowl after the cake had been iced. 

A true thundercake miracle!  The cake still looked a bit orange and gloopy, but it’s always a good sign when your friends say hurry up and take the picture I want a piece! 

My lessons learned were that it pays to have good friends during a snowstorm, it’s nice to have a market in the basement of your building that is open during said snow storm, and finally, you should always add more cream cheese.