Wednesday, October 21, 2009

salad with figs, jamon serrano and bleu cheese dressing

I made this delicious salad the other day when I was stuck with no food in the house (the day I made the pumpkin spice smoothie in the post below) and it was really really good. The neighbor has a fig tree that hangs in my yard and I cut a couple off (with permission of course), chopped up some black olives and washed some lettuce and mixed it all together with a bleu cheese dressing. My boyfriend was apprehensive at first to try it ("fruit? in salad??") but I added some jamon serrano to his salad as an incentive and he ate it right up. I even got a compliment out of him on how good the "fruit" was in salad.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Pumpkin Spice Smoothie

Yesterday I was stuck in my house all day with hardly any food ( i havent been shopping in 2 weeks!) and I was really craving something sweet. I rummaged through my fridge and in the freezer i found some frozen bananas (i freeze them to use them in banana bread or smoothies). i had somemilk i needed to use up, so i thought "ok, I'll just make a banana smoothie" but then my eye caught something in the verrrry back of my freezer. A tupperware of pumpkin puree! I talked about pumpkin puree in my pumpkin bread post (here) and i had been saving the leftover puree from the bread to make a pumpkin pie. However, over the last week or so, I have seen so many pumpkin recipes i want to try, and walmart (the only place i can buy pumpkins here in Mexico) is all out and the produce manager told me they probably wouldnt be stocking anymore. I was faced with a difficult the puree for a pie, or try delicious-looking pumpkin bar recipe... In the end, the pie won. I've been craving pumpkin pie for over a year now, and so into the freezer it was for my pumpkin puree.

But yesterday, when I saw that puree sitting in the back of the freezer, I decided that taking just a tablespoon or two wouldnt matter.
Pumpkin Smoothie

  • 1.5 c milk
  • 1/2 small banana cut in thin rounds (you could leave this out if you wanted to)
  • about 2-3 tbsp pumpkin puree (I just threw mine in frozen)
  • 1tbsp sugar (more or less to taste)
  • pinch or 2 of cinnamon, nutmeg and any other spices you like in your pumpkin pie
Blend all ingredients together and enjoy.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Homemade pumpkin puree

I won't lie. Making pumpkin puree from a real pumpkin is a lot of work. First you have to scoop out all the guts. You have to do a really good job of this, because who wants stringy stuff in their delicious pumpkin treats?? (set the seeds aside to roast later.)After its cleaned, you have to cut the pumpkin in large chunks (since mine was small as I only bought half a pumpkin from the store, I just cut it in half again.) Then, you have to roast it for about an hour. When it cools, you have to scoop out all the flesh and puree it ( I used a blender because I don't have a food processor.) When all that is taken care of, if you used a small pumpkin like me, you're left with about 6 cups of pumpkin puree, which means of course, that you have to make pumpkin bread.

For my pumpkin bread, I used this as a base recipe, but tweaked it a little. Also I halved the recipe, to make just 1 loaf )

for 1 loaf:
  • about 1 1/2 c pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk (or milk mixed with vinegar ...3 parts milk to 1 part vinegar)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease loaf pan
  1. In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, milk, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans.
  2. Bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.