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Monthly Archives: October 2013

Day 12: Pumpkin Beer

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Yesterday I passed up pumpkin pancakes because I’m not much of a pancake person, but I should have done it, because the brunch I had instead was subpar.  So maybe next weekend I’ll make some pumpkin pancakes with either apples or bananas.

So what was my pumpkin of the day?  PUMPKIN BEERS!

I went out to dinner with friends and there were 2 different pumpkin beers on the menu, both of which were better than the RJ Rockers pumpkin beer I tried last weekend.

The waiter suggested that I try the Doghead Fish Punkin Ale because it’s made with real pumpkin … pumpkin meat to be precise.  It was good and light but I didn’t really taste any pumpkin.  If I’m going to be that girl that eats and drinks all of the pumpkin things, well, it should taste like pumpkin.  apparently it’s brewed with pumpkin and brown sugar and other delicious spices.  But I didn’t taste much of it.

The other beer I tried was the Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale.  It apparently has no actual pumpkin but it does of flavor hints of pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  I thought it was DELICIOUS and pumpkiny but not in a pumpkin pie way.  I had two of these and they were great.  NOTE: don’t confuse this with the Smashed Pumpkin beer that shipyard makes which has 9.0% alc/vol.  Might knock you on your ass, but I’m sure it’s delicious too.


Day 11: Pumpkin Cream Cheese

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I’m sorry to say that the last few days I’ve just fallen off the pumpkin wagon and took a ride on the normal food train.  Wednesday night I was going to make a pumpkin curry, but it was raining and I got home late and I was lazy so I got take out.  But at least I’d had leftover au gratin for lunch.

Yesterday, I’m sorry to say, I had no form of pumpkin or squash.  I KNOW!  I’ve failed.  Well, I’m not so sure this was a mission to turn into a pumpkin or a challenge to find enough recipes to fill the month of October.  Either way, it’s a good thing this is thirty days of pumpkin and there are thirty one days in October.  HUZZAH!

This morning I’ve fared a little better.  I was hoping to see a Dunkin Donuts in this airport terminal, but this might be the only terminal in the country with neither Dunkin Donuts nor Starbucks in the terminal.  AND IN OUR NATION’S CAPITAL!!!  There was an Einstein’s Bagels BEFORE security.  You do me no good, Einstein.  What should I do?  Order a pumpkin coffee only to chug it and scald my throat in the 20 steps it takes to get from you to security???

Ok, actually Einstein did me some good.  They have pumpkin bagels AND pumpkin cream cheese.  I thought a double pump would be too much so I opted for a Cinnamon Raising bagel with pumpkin cream cheese.  The cream cheese was good but a little to sweet.  I’ve been thinking of making my own pumpkin cream cheese using a recipe similar to this:

4 oz (1/2 container) neufchâtel cheese (it has less fat than cream cheese but doesn’t taste like butt the way low fat cream cheese does.  And is a great excuse to make your a wear a hat! â)
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg

I have no idea how this is going to taste but if I try it I’ll let you know.

I think next time I pass by an Einstein’s I’ll have a pumpkin bagel with regular cream cheese and let you know how that is.

On a positive not, I’m heading to Boston.  Land of Dunkin Donuts, so I should have no problem finding myself a pumpkin coffee every day.

Day 8: Squash and Apple au Gratin

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After last night / this afternoon’s disappointing meal, I was hoping for something wonderful tonight.  I scrolled through my Pumpkin Everything board and didn’t see anything that really spoke to me.  With some pumpkin puree, a butternut squash, and a carnival squash at home, I wondered what I could do to make my taste buds happy.  Then I pulled up my OneNote recipe notebook to look up some potential Thanksgiving recipe and I found a treasure trove of forgotten pumpkin recipes!  And this was born tonight’s dinner.

The only thing I didn’t like about the dish was the texture difference between the squash and the apples, but that’s because I have weird texture issues.  I used Jonathan apples which are good for baking and therefore became mushy.  I think I’d rather use a harder apple or pear to match the squash’s texture after baking.

3 strips bacon, well cooked and crumbled
1 medium butternut squash, cubed
4 small – medium apples
1/2 small sweet onion
1/4 cup flour
crushed red pepper (if you like a sweet/spicy combination)
italian seasoning
1 cup sharp cheddar, shredded
grated parmesan cheese
crumbled goat cheese
2 cups chicken broth

Squash and Apple Au Gratin

1.preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Fry up 3 strips of bacon until crispy.  Or if I’m being honest, I cooked 4 strips squash ate one. Because, bacon.  Save the bacon grease to use for later.  And leave a little in the pan if you’re cooking up something, like chicken, to accompany the squash.
3. Cut up squash, apples, and onions.  Place in a plastic bag and add flour, spices (to your own taste.  I used about 1 tbsp cinnamon, 1 tsp nutmeg, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1 tsp Italian seasoning, 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper, and a dash of cloves) and shake well.
4. Place 1/2 of the squash mix into a baking dish (I used a 9 x 11 pan).  Add 1/2 of the cheddar and sprinkle parmesan to your taste.
5. Pour the chicken broth over the mixture.
6. Add the rest of the squash mix.  Cover with the rest of the cheddar cheese, add parmesan and goat cheese to taste.  Top with bacon crumbles.
7. Bake for 40-45 minutes until squash is soft.
8. When squash is done it will appear a bit watery but let it cool and the cheese will help that liquid solidify into yum!

I paired this with a boneless chicken breast seasoned with Goya’s Adobe and sauteed in leftover bacon fat yummmm. The salty was a good complement to the sweet squash.

Day 7: Squash and Garlic Pasta

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Last night it finally happened.  I got sick of pumpkin.  Maybe I’m just sick of making myself dinner.  There are few squash short cuts since it’s such a seasonal meal.  Nothing I thought about making sounded good or appealing and squash takes a while to cook so I was meh and disheartened.  But alas, I triumphed and made a pasta dish based off of one from Locavore Girl in the City.

(1) acorn squash
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
grapeseed oil
1/2 lb green beans
crushed red pepper flakes
balsamic vinegar
1/2 box pasta (I used tricolor rotini)
parmesan cheese

Squash and Garlic Pasta

1. Preheat oven to 400.  Cut squash in half, put face down into a baking pan with about 1/4 inch of water.  Bake squash for 40 minutes.
2. When there is about 10 minutes left on the squash, start boiling water.  Add pasta once boiling.
3. Add about 1 – 2 tbsps grapeseed oil into a frying pan.  When hot, sautee garlic and oil.  When the onions start to soften, add spices (you can swap those out with whatever you’d like.  And we know I don’t measure spices, so … sorry).  I liked the spice from the red pepper and the nutmeg brings out a lot of the squash flavor.  Add green beans and continue sauteeing.
4. When squash is done let cool before scooping out insides.  I score cubes into the squash and then scooped out the cubes.  Add squash into the frying pan and sautee about 2 minutes.
5. Add pasta to frying pan just to get the pasta warm since it’s already cooked.  Top with balsamic vinegar to taste.  Top with parmesan cheese

I was meh about the meal.  It was good, not great, but I wasn’t in the mood for it.  And I don’t think I like the consistency of acorn squash, so maybe it needed to cook a little longer or maybe I just should’ve used a different type of squash.  Too bad, because this is also lunch today.  I thought about sauteeing the onions and garlic in butter instead of oil, and maybe that would have been better with the squash.  Some rosemary, thyme, or sage also would have helped.  Not a fail, just a work in progress.

Days 5 – 6: Coffee and Beer

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This weekend I fell a little bit off the pumpkin wagon, but it’s ok!  I plan to get back on it tonight.  Friday and Saturday I had pumpkin coffee from Dunks, hands down the best pumpkin coffee around.  7-11 actually has a pretty good pumpkin roast as well, but let’s not get me started on my dislike of Pumpkin Spice Lattes, or PSLs as they’re trendily called.  I think they taste burnt and awful, as I feel about most of Starbucks coffee, and it doesn’t leave me with that happy fall feeling I get with other pumpkin coffees.

As for the beer, I guess I’ll keep a running list of the beers I’ve tried.  Minus the one I tried 3 weeks ago and I don’t remember.

RJ Rockers is a brewery out of South Carolina.  Their beer can be hard to find up here, but it’s possible.  In May I tried their Son of a Peach (you guessed it!) peach beer which was sour but good.  It had a strong peach taste so I expected their pumpkin beer to be just as pumpkiny.  It wasn’t and I was kind of disappointed.  It wasn’t a bad beer, it was actually pretty good, but I tasted no pumpkin.

AND WAIT!!!!!  I did have pumpkin ice cream.  It was SO GOOD it tasted like pumpkin pie in ice cream form Brusters.  They apparently make a few different pumpkin ice creams, but I only had plain ol’ pumpkin.  Perhaps next time I’ll try pumpkin cheesecake.

I know, this is disappointing for a whole weekend, but I did enjoy fall goodness in the form of apples and cider, and it was so hot that who could think of fall food.

Day 4: Broccoli Slaw

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I still have some Pumpkin Vinaigrette left over from Wednesday and I’m going out of town this weekend so I tried to come up with a third dish to use this vinaigrette on.  Yesterday when I was buying brussels sprouts I saw some broccoli slaw so I grabbed that to make some pumpkin broccoli slaw.  I had seen a recipe for a creamy pumpkin salad dressing on Worth the Whisk (SO PUNNY!) so I took the rest of my vinaigrette, doctored it up, and added it to the broccoli slaw.

I had about 1/3 of the vinaigrette left and some pumpkin puree from last night’s cookies.  So I took the left over vinaigrette and added:

1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup lite mayo
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp rosemary

Mixed it up and put it over the broccoli slaw.  I’m letting it marinade at home right now so there might be an update later.  If I want it a little creamier I might add a 1/2 cup of sour cream I know I have in the fridge instead of more mayo.

Day 3: Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

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After dinner Brei and I decided to make some cookies.  We had to somehow balance out the healthy vegetables we’d eaten, so cookies were the answer.  I also wanted to bring some weekend treats to my coworkers.  I usually use the Quaker Oats Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookie recipe as my base for all oatmeal cookies, and didn’t think this should be any different.  Brei and I hit a slight bump in the road because I didn’t have enough oats to go around, so we made due with what we had.  We used one less cup of oats and one more cup of flour than I would have liked, so below is the ideal oatsier recipe.

JOMG so delish!

Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies


1 stick butter, room temperature
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tbsp vanilla extract, and a little extra for good luck
1 cup pumpkin puree
3 cups oats
1.5 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp cloves
1 tsp salt (less if you don’t like salted desserts)
1 cup chocolate chips (oh man I wish I’d had dark chocolate chips)
1 cup craisins (this would be delicious.  Brei and I didn’t add these, so that’s an excuse for making these again!)

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Cream butter and sugars in a mixer on nmedium-hight until smooth and creamy.
3. Add egg and vanilla.  Mix well.  Add pumpkin.  Mix well.
4. Mix all other ingredients in a separate bowl.  (I usually add the oats last, after all the other dry ingredients have been added, but tonight Brei mixed them all together and the oats mixed into the cookie batter better than usual.)
5. Slowly add dry ingredients to the wet and mix on low-medium until mixed well.
6. Add chocolate chips / craisins / whatever else you want to mix in to the cookies on low speed.
7. Scoop/spoon out onto baking sheet (I like to use a cookie scoop, basically a small ice cream scoop) and bake for 10-15 minutes.
8. Try to share with friends