Pumpkin Basics

So, I do realize that it has been (almost) a month since I have last posted. As you can imagine, I have been super busy. To make up for lost time, I am giving myself until next Friday to catch you up on several pumpkin goodies that I have been making. I hope this is a deadline that I can meet without excuses!

Today, I will only feature the seeds. Over the course of the week, I will be posting my pumpkin pie, pumpkin cake and pumpkin empanadas. I would like to post the pumpkin cheesecake, but I never took photos of it.

As an avid fan and believer of pumpkins, I cooked a total of six this season; three were Fairytale pumpkins, one was a Cinderella pumpkin, and the other two were pie pumpkins. This year, I realized that the Fairytale pumpkin is my absolute favorite.

If you happen to be like me and have a stash of cooked pumpkin stored in the freezer, then try some of these recipes. If you happen to still be a canned pumpkin user, then I hope these recipes will change your cooking method for the better. Cooking your own pumpkin is super simple and well worth the (small amount of) extra work.

Boiling, steaming, roasting and baking are all effective and common methods of cooking pumpkins. Choosing your method is entirely up to you. I usually boil my pumpkins and it’s quite easy to do.

I attempted to do pumpkin seeds about four times this season and the following recipe was by far the best batch.

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Halloween Cake Balls

Happy Halloween! I made these in honor of Halloween and they came out pretty tasty. The coolest thing that I like about cake balls is that you can change the type of cake, frosting, and coatings for different combinations. These can be made for all sorts of occasions/holidays. Cake balls are really easy to make, but the eyeballs were a little time consuming because of the decorating involved. 

[Click on the recipe to enlarge it.]

I also did little pumpkins with a homemade pumpkin cake (recipe coming soon). These were a whole lot more complicated because the cake was made from scratch and the coating required food coloring. I learned the hard way that you cannot add the dye to the coating after it is melted. You must add liquids (i.e. liqueur, food dye, vanilla extract, etc.) to the bark before it starts to melt down. Otherwise, the chocolate will break and become clumpy. The second time was the charm on these and it was well worth it.

Once again, Happy Halloween! I hope these have inspired you to do some for your next party.

Loaded Oatmeal Cookies

Hello! I do apologize for being so out of touch this past month. Working a new job and keeping up with life has kept me very busy!

The Cocktails and Mocktails Recipe Challenge was a lot of fun and a great success. Dutch Lovin’ came in a very close second place and could not have done it with out your help. Major thanks to all of my (very big) family and friends for all of your support. We are thrilled to have been apart of our first ever (and hopefully not the last) online recipe challenge for Marx Foods.

In other news, Kyle and I have booked our trip to New York for The Food Experiments‘ National Championship, sponsored by  the Brooklyn Brewery. We are very excited, as this will be our first time to ever go to New York. The competition will be on December 16th. Please, tell all of your friends that are in the New York area, because we are going to be cooking up something extra special. The experimenting will commence this weekend.

As for the cookies, I made these a couple of weeks ago as a gift for a friend at work. They were super delicious and honestly, the most decadent oatmeal cookies that I have ever made. Don’t let the picture fool you; those are definitely dried blueberries. Someone did mention to me that there were a lot of ingredients and I concur. However, every ingredient is worth the flavor. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did. Happy baking!

Loaded Oatmeal Cookies[Please click on the image to enlarge the recipe.]

No Starter Sourdough Bread

This is the Sourdough bread that we made for my birthday party about a month ago. It’s simple to make, but requires a lot of inactive prep time. This dough will sit at room temperature for 19 hours, this is how it becomes a “sourdough”. I would like to eventually have a sourdough starter that I keep up with, but until that happens, this recipes works just fine.

Please click on the image to enlarge the recipe.

Happy baking!

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