Gotta, Gotta

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

pumpkin_choco_cookie

When I was in college it was my best friend’s “job” to make a batch, or five, of pumpkin cookies after fall.  After college I realized that if I wanted my pumpkin fix I needed to figure out the recipe or accept a life without these delicious treats.  The main trick I have found is to pre-roast the pumpkin and store the mash in the fridge or freezer until it’s time to use.  In a pinch, canned pumpkin can also work but just make to grab mashed pumpkin and not the pre-made pie filling as it tends to be too runny.  As for the chips, I’m a fan of milk chocolate but as long as chocolate is being used there is no wrong option.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie

Serves: Yields around 60 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 egg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup mashed pumpkin
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Cream the butter and sugar for 10 minutes, until slightly fluffy. Add in the egg, salt, and vanilla extract and beat for 5 minutes before adding in the mashed pumpkin.
  2. Preheat oven to 350
  3. In a small bowl stir together the flour, baking soda, and spices. Slowly add to the wet ingredients and beat until just mixed.
  4. Spoon the dough onto cookie sheets in walnut sized portions. Bake for 15 minutes, or until a golden orange shade.
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2014/11/gotta-gotta.html

These cookies are so good – your dogs might climb up on to the table cat ninja style and eat the last dozen.  Thankfully milk chocolate is not as toxic for dogs as semi-sweet chocolate and Calli is good to go.  Lesson for the future as now we know that she can jump in to the table, regardless of chair placement.   At least we got to enjoy a few dozen before that happened!

I’m sending these over, slightly last minute, to the /r/52weeksofcooking pumpkin challenge!  I also sent a large number of these to my office, where they were totally and utterly destroyed in a short amount of time.

Dark and Deep

Soup and Stew Round Up

 Another month has ended – and with that another round up!  This time I’m focusing on soups and stews, which are starting to become a weekly feature.  I know that as winter continues to approach, more and more hearty soups are going to be appearing on our weekly menu.  So with that in mind I have a few of my favorite soup and stew recipes, some from my blog and others from blogging friends of mine!   Unless indicated all recipes are gluten free, while others are divided vegan vs. vegetarian vs swap the broth – all assuming labels are checked for hidden ingredients.    A few of these are also great transition recipes, for those days that start out just above freezing but wind up closer to mid-70s.

Vegan

Corn Bisque

 Corn Bisque with Avocado

curried_cauliflower_soup

Curry Cauliflower Soup

Five Bean Chili

Hot and Sour Soup

Farmer’s Market Soup: A Take on Ribollita

Ribollita

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roasted Butternut Squash and Pear Soup

Sweet Potato Corn Stew

Thai Eggplant Posole

Three Bean Chili

Three Bean Chili

Vegetable Soup

Vegetarian

Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Soup

Celery Root – Apple Soup

Chilled Cantaloupe Soup (easy to transition to vegan!)

Chilled Cucumber Soup (easy to transition to vegan!)

Cream of Mushroom Soup

Gazpacho with Cornbread Croutons

Moonstruck Minestrone

Tortellini and Cannelini Minestrone with Spinach

 Swap the Broth

Black Bean Soup

Busia’s Cheese Soup

Cream of Celery Soup

Pumpkin and Black Bean Soup

Roasted Cauliflower Soup

Sweet Potato & Chickpea Soup

I had a fun time pulling this together – visiting old blog posts and checking out some new-to-me recipes from my blogging friends!  I’m not a winter person, but I can certainly get on board with the food.

Come True

Acorn Squash with Dried Fruit

acorn_squash

When I saw the challenge for /r/52weeksofcooking was Native American – I was a bit nervous but not for any of the normal reasons.  Recently there has been some uproar on blogger “feedback” sites about the insensitivity of bloggers as it relates to other cultures/religions/practices with a focus on cultural approbation.  While I would hope that posting a recipe would not be considered cultural stealing,  I still paused to weigh if it would be worth being a potential target on one of those more venomous sites, especially after “yelpgate” a few weeks ago.   In the end I decided that sharing recipes should always be allowed, regardless of where (or where not) a person is from.  After all, everyone has to eat!

 

Acorn Squash with Dried Fruit

Serves 4-5

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 vidalia onion, diced
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary
  • 1 lb acorn squash, partially peeled and diced (reserve 1/4 cup of the seeds)
  • 1 1/2 cups wild rice
  • 3 cups vegetable stock (or water)
  • 1/2 cup cranberries
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add the garlic, squash seeds, and onion and cook for 7 minutes before adding the herbs. Stir well and cook for a minute.
  2. Add the diced acorn squash and cook for 10 minutes, or until soft and shiny - stir frequently to prevent sticking.
  3. Add the wild rice, stir well and allow to soak up some of the liquid in the pan before adding the water/stock. Bring to a boil, then cover, and turn heat to low. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Remove lid, stir, and add the cranberries along with the raisins. For a more "stewlike" option serve now - or wait 5 minutes and Serve!
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2014/10/come_true.html

 In the end,  it’s a balancing act – and I can only hope that this post strikes the right note as I would really like to avoid getting messages (again) about how I need to be hit by a truck.  I enjoyed this dish as is, while my cheese loving spouse adding some Parmesan Cheese to his.  I think in the future I’ll go full stew, instead of debating back and forth while making the dish.

I’m also sending this over to Simple and in Season, hosted by the always fabulous Ren Behan since Acorn Squash is in its prime right now – and there is something very fall-like when it comes to dried fruit treats.

Walk it

Sweet Potato Biscuits

sweet_potato_biscuits

I’ve posted before about how much I love the Farmer’s Market at my office, the market which will be ending for the season in two weeks – eek!  I’ve tried out so many different varieties of tomatoes, apples, and random greens that withdrawal is rather likely at this point.   A few weeks ago, Mark at Chocolates and Tomatoes (yep, still obsessed with the awesomeness of the name) tossed me the LARGEST sweet potato ever.  Not even joking, this beast was the size of my arm from wrist to elbow – total insanity.  He also challenged me to do something different with it, which really got me thinking.  It also had me asking around the office for ideas as I’ve already done a lot with sweet potatoes.  In the end, it was a suggestion from a coworker to do a sweet potato bread that had me thinking about drop biscuits.  Some quick googling gave me great information about all the different types of biscuits and with I decided to go with a quick rise drop biscuit – mostly because rolling dough is just never a good idea for me.

Walk it

Serves: Yields around 12 biscuits

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb sweet potato, quartered and peeled
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 cup milk

Instructions

  1. Bring a small pot of water to a boil along with the quartered sweet potato. Cook until potato is soft, then drain and rinse with cold water.
  2. Preheat oven to 425
  3. In a medium bowl sift together the flour and baking powder, cut in the sweet potato using two knives. The dough should form pea sized balls.
  4. Form a well in the middle, and pour the milk in to the well quickly mixing in the dry ingredients until just wet.
  5. Drop a walnut sized amount of dough on to cookie sheet and repeat to form 12 biscuits. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until biscuits are golden brown.
  6. Allow to cool on pan for a few minutes before removing to a rack. Serve and enjoy!
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2014/10/walk-it.html

The sweet potato I was gifted actually produced three times what I needed for this recipe, so the rest of the puree was frozen and used to make sweet potato gnocci.   As for the milk in the recipe, if using dairy based be sure to use whole or 2% – while for non-dairy a full fat coconut or almond milk marked “plain” will work the best.  I hesitate to suggest soy milk due the lack of fat, which is the same reason I would avoid a 1% or skim milk.

Life is a

Potato Corn Chowder

potato_corn_chowder

I first started to “really” cook when I was in college, thanks to the lack of a meal plan and a dorm room that included a full kitchen.  Most of my dishes were the results of experiments, tossing various ingredients in to a pot to see if the results were edible.  Then I started getting serious, picking up recipe books in the clearance department of Barnes and Noble and using those as the basis for continued experiments.  One such clearance book was all about using canned vegetables – and for a fair amount of time I was convinced that the potato chowder in that book was the be all, end all potato corn chowder recipe.  Then I left college, went up north, and realized what potato chowder really was.  Which is why this is the perfect recipe for /r/52weeksofcooking “screw ups revisited” challenge.  Once I had real chowder, I cut the cord on the recipe which required, no joke, 7 different cans.  It wasn’t horrible by any stretch, but it wasn’t good and the sodium level was insane.  My first attempts to improve this dish involved me switching out some of the cans for fresh ingredients, replacing more and more as my skill level increased.  As a bonus, the recipe wound up being dairy free as well as gluten free.

Potato Corn Chowder

Serves 4-5

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 vidalia onion, chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 4 butter potatoes, partially skinned and quartered (about 2.5 lbs)
  • 4 cups vegetable stock (plus extra just in case)
  • 1 cup corn off the cob
  • 2 tbsp plain Greek Yogurt (I used So Delicious Coconut milk plain)

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook for 10 minutes before adding the spices. Cook for an additional minute, stirring constantly.
  2. Add the potatoes and cook for 5 minutes, allowing the potatoes to slight brown. Then pour in the stock and bring mixture to a boil. Cover, then turn heat to low and allow to simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. Use an immersion blender to puree the mixture, adding more stock as needed.
  4. Add in the corn, then stir in the yogurt. Cook for a final 5 minutes, then season to taste with salt and pepper as needed.
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2014/10/life-is-a.html

I’m sure this recipe will continue to evolve, but thrilled to say that my potato corn chowder is no longer a canned screw up.   This recipe can also be easily adapted for the slow cooker, just cook the onion and garlic in advance then toss everything in on low for 7 hours.  This chowder can also easily transition to a sweet potato corn chowder by swapping out the potatoes – for a real treat add some curry powder for a samosa like taste!