Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Pumpkin Roll~~#PumpkinWeek

This is the 3rd day of Pumpkin week and I thought I would bring something sweet to the table. Everyone has their favorite pumpkin roll recipe and I thought I would share mine with you today. This has been a fun event for me, especially since I love pumpkin.  When I was pregnant with my daughter I craved pumpkin pie the entire time.

Pumpkin Pie is still my favorite and although I am not sharing it with you today it is liable to show up later this week (tomorrow, hint, hint) so stay tuned.

These cookie sheets with sides are also called Jelly Roll Pans.
Spray the pan with baking spray.
Line with parchment paper and spray again with baking spray.
Make your batter and spread it evenly in the pan.
Bake for only 15 minutes or less as you will see when I remove mine from the oven.

While the cake is baking, spread a clean linen towel onto your counter.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

This is the cake after 15 minutes.
I would check it after 13 minutes next time.
I was worried that it was over done but I cut off the ends and the edges and it was fine.

Immediately flip onto the sugared towel and remove the parchment paper.

Roll up starting with short side and leave to cool in the towel.

While the cake is cooling make the frosting.

Once the cake is cool, unroll and spread with the frosting.
I cut off the left edge of this cake prior to rolling it back up with the frosting.

Roll the cake back up around the frosting.
Cut off the ends to even them up.
Sprinkle with additional powdered sugar.


Pumpkin Roll

3 eggs
1 c. sugar
2/3 c. pumpkin puree (canned or homemade)
3/4 c. unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 t. cinnamon
1 t. baking soda
Powdered Sugar for sprinkling


1 c. powdered sugar
1 t. vanilla
2 T. butter, softened
1 (8oz) pkg Neufchatel Cheese

Grease a 15x10x1" jelly roll pan, line with parchment paper and then spray with baking spray.  In large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat eggs on high speed for 4-5 minutes.  Gradually add sugar and pumpkin alternating between each addition. Add the remaining ingredients, except for powdered sugar, and fold in on low speed. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan.  Bake in a preheated 375* oven for 12-15 minutes or until it springs back when lightly touched.

While cake is baking, sprinkle a linen kitchen towel with powdered sugar.  When cake is finished baking turn immediately onto the towel and remove parchment paper.  Roll up in towel, starting at the short end.  Allow to cool while wrapped in towel.

While cake is cooling, make the filling by beating together all ingredients until smooth.

Carefully unroll the cake.  Spread filling over the cake and roll up again.  Trim ends so that they are even,  Chill until ready to serve.  Print Recipe

I am sharing this post at Wednesday Whatsits...check this site out!

 #PumpkinWeek is hosted by Terri from Love and Confections. We are celebrating our love of the season with a whole week of pumpkin goodies, leading up to National Pumpkin Day. 17 Food Bloggers have come together to share over 65 recipes with you. In addition to homemade pumpkin puree, pie, and cookies, we are also sharing savory pumpkin dishes like hummus, chili and pumpkin corn chowder. Come back every day for #PumpkinWeek recipes. You can also find these great recipes and more on Love and Confections' #PumpkinWeek Pinterest Board!

Check out all the other #PumpkinWeek Bloggers and their recipes:

Pumpkin Pie Cream Cheese Truffles by Love and Confections
Pumpkin-Vanilla Bean Madeleines by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
White Chocolate Drizzled Pumpkin Scones by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
S'mores Pumpkin Pie by The Spiffy Cookie
Homemade Pumpkin Puree by Happy Food Healthy Life
Pumpkin Mole by Curious Cuisiniere
Drunken Pumpkin Seeds by Life Tastes Good
Pumpkin Roll by A Day in the Life on the Farm
Pumpkin Lasagna by My Catholic Kitchen
Cinnamon Pumpkin Bread by Making Miracles
Pumpkin Quinoa Oatmeal Bake by The Pajama Chef
Pumpkin Toffee Dump Cake by That's My Home
Pumpkin Chocolate Swirl Pancakes by Dizzy Busy and Hungry

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

31 Days of Writing Fiction

Today is the first day of the 31 Day Challenge, hosted by The Nester and co hosted by Kate Motaung of  Five Minute Friday.  The Nester challenges us to write each and every day in October on one topic.  I am not sure that my pledge to write fiction each day qualifies as a topic but I am doing it anyway.  To make things even more interesting, Kate, has challenged us to limit our writing on said topic to only 5 minutes a day using a different word prompt each day that she has provided.

We will see how it goes...wish me luck and please stick with me during this journey.  I will gladly accept any feedback you have to offer.  This is completely new territory for me.

Day 1-Move


 I couldn't move.  I was paralyzed with fear.  I had heard of this happening but I didn't believe it was real.

How did I come to be here?  How could I have been so blind, so stupid.  It had seemed like such a good idea.  He was charming, rich, handsome....everything I had dreamed of finding in a man.

Was that what happened? Was I so enthralled in my dreams that I was blind to the truth?  It had sounded so innocent, so perfect.

Let's move away together, just you and I.  Somewhere we can call our own.  Somewhere secluded where no one else will be able to bother us.  It will be just the two of us, he said.  Our own little paradise.

I mean, really, how many people can afford to buy their own Island?  A whole entire Island just for us...and the staff, of course.  And the many guests we would have...because we both loved to entertain and be sociable sometimes.....or so I believed...


One year ago--Organizing for October and A Little Background

Day 2-View


We were entertaining the first time I got a view of the Island.  We had 50 people on the yacht and as I stood at the side of the boat looking over the railing he said "See that Island there?"  It was breathtaking! Imagine my excitement when he got down on one knee and proposed telling me that he had bought that Island just that week as a wedding gift for me.

I stood there flabbergasted as all of our acquaintances, friends and family began to applaud.  They had all known...they were all in on this little surprise.  I couldn't wait to accept his proposal.  I couldn't believe that this fairy tale was my life!!

As I looked out among the crowd I viewed my best friend, Lila, with a frown upon her face.


One year ago--Mom Falls

Day 3-New


Unfortunately, this was nothing new.  Lila had a look of consternation on her face every time she was around him.  She says she is worried about me.  That he is too controlling.  That I am blinded by my infatuation with him.  Why can't she see him as everyone else does?  Why can't she just be happy for me?  I think she is just jealous because I don't have the spare time to spend with her.  We used to do everything together.  Go everywhere together.  It was such an easy, relaxed atmosphere.  I could tell her anything.  We could talk for hours.  

It is true that we haven't gotten to spend as much time together, but he hates not being included when we go places and I do things.  Lila asks why he always has to be with me...she doesn't understand a love like ours.  I find myself avoiding her sometimes because I know that she disapproves of this relationship.  


One year ago--Happiness is Having your Hair Done

Day 4-Learn


You would think after all these years of being friends with Lila I would have learned that she always had my back. 

All I can say is I was blind...I didn't see the truth that she was pointing to.  I told myself she was jealous.  I told myself she didn't understand.  I told myself she was wrong.  I convinced myself that she wasn't really my friend.  

So when he told me that he really didn't want her around too much anymore because he felt that she was judgmental and bitter, I agreed with him.  I slowly started making excuses when she wanted to get together.  I quit answering the phone.  My texts were terse with a "sorry, I've been busy" air to them.  Finally her calls came less and less frequently.  Those few times that I did take her calls, I pitied her for her insecurities.  I couldn't wrap my head around why she refused to be happy for me.  I was angry that she constantly wanted to talk about how I had "changed".  How I was "losing who I was".


One year ago--Memories of Mom

Day 5-Stuck


But I didn't listen.  I didn't want to hear.  And now I am stuck here.

I have no one to whom I can turn.  I am alone.  Stuck on an Island with a mad man and everyone thinks that I am living the life!!  The only person who could know that I am not living the life was Lila and I pushed her away.  

It began very slowly, this total isolation, and I was so happy, so in love, that I did not see it happening.  First the staff started being let go one by one.  Nobody could seem to do the job properly in his eyes.  And finally he quit replacing them, saying we were better off doing it ourselves.

Maybe it was my fault.  It started with Cook.  Cook was wonderful and her food was delicious but I missed being in the kitchen so I simply asked that we give her extra days off so that I could start cooking again.


One year ago-Another Day

Day 6-Know


I can hear Lila's voice in my head right now..."Don't be ridiculous, how were you to know that he would take that as an excuse to fire the cook".  She would be admonishing me right now to not allow him to make me the bad guy in this scenario.  She would have my back as she always did.  Oh, how I miss her.

I know that I screwed up.  I know now that when something looks too good to be true that it usually is.  But I didn't know that at the beginning. I was too busy.  Oh, it was so much fun making plans for the house, taking day trips over to the Island to see the progress on it.  He let me have anything I wanted..."only the best for my wife", he would say.  Once the house was built, months were spent decorating it.  Oh and the travel....because if you want Persian rugs you go to Persia and if you want Italian tile you go to Italy.  I didn't have time for anyone else.  I slowly let all those relationships slip away. 

He does still allow me talk to my Mom once a week but only when he is present to monitor my end of the conversation.  I don't know how I let this happen.  I am not a stupid woman...just a naive woman, I guess.


One year ago--Mom and Frank

Day 7- Go


"There you go again" he says.  "Why can't you just be content with all the good things I've given you?, You are always complaining, always wanting more".

Every time I broach the subject of leaving the Island for a while.  Of going to see my mom or having a party with some of our friends that we haven't seen in so long.  I just want to go somewhere, anywhere.  He asks why I would want anything more.  Is he not enough for me?  Does he not dote on my every little whim?  Yes, I want to scream, YES, YES, YES.  You dote on me constantly.  I can't go to the bathroom in peace.  I can't shower alone.  I can't read a book.  I have no computer, no phone.  I can't go for a walk alone.  I can't breathe!!

I used to think it was so cute...


One year ago--No Mom Monday

Day 8-Say


What can I say?  I don't understand myself why I thought his cloying neediness was so cute.  I didn't see it for what it was.  Now I am suffocating here.

He says that he loves me but this is not love.  I am not sure what it is but I know that love should not make you feel like a prisoner.  

The next person to be let go was the upstairs maid.  He said that he caught her snooping around in our personal areas.  When I asked who we would get to replace her he said that we would take care of the upkeep in our bedrooms and sitting rooms.  I asked what about when we had guests, and was it my imagination or did he hesitate for a moment, like there was no reason for him to have considered that, before replying that we would hire temporary help while entertaining.


One year ago--Zzzzzz's

Day 9-Join


I am not sure what happened to the internet service.  It went out, or so he said, and it still hasn't been fixed.  He says it is hard to get the internet provider to come out to the Island to fix it but he had no problem at all getting them to come out to install it.

It quit working shortly after friends of ours posted on facebook that they were planning a trip to Costa Rica and asked us to join them.  I thought it sounded like fun but he didn't want to go.  He complained that our friends were immature and childish. It was going to be nothing but a drunk fest and he did not feel like joining in.  I was very disappointed and then when we got this photo from them showing that it had been a fitness vacation, he got angry that I was bringing it up again.  

He didn't understand why I felt the need to join our friends in everything they did.  He didn't understand why I wasn't happy spending time with him.  


One year ago-The Morning Ritual

Day 10-Care


I tried to explain to him how I loved spending time with him but what about other people?  What would they think if we always ignored them and turned down their invitations?  He said he didn't care what others thought and that neither should I.  The only person whose opinion I should care about was his.  

I tried to tell him that his opinion was very important to me but that I didn't know what to say to people when they asked why we were not being sociable anymore.  They thought they had done something wrong and we didn't like them anymore.  I wasn't able to answer their questions.

A couple of days later...I couldn't find my phone anywhere.  I searched high and was gone. He said that the downstairs maid must have taken it and the next thing I knew, she too, was gone.


One year ago-I can see clearly now

Day 11-Teach


I don't believe that the downstairs maid took it.  I believe he was just trying to teach me a lesson.  I asked him to please let me hire a replacement, that there was no way that I could tend to this house on my own.  He said that I needn't worry about the whole house, after all there were only the two of us and I never used all the wonderful things that he tried to give me...the pool, the gym, the sauna...instead I kept myself to the kitchen where I ignored him because I was busy cooking or in my room where I turned my back to him and cried myself to sleep.  Did I think he didn't hear me at night? he asked.  I made him feel guilty and he didn't appreciate my weeping and feeling sorry for myself after all that he had done for me.

I said that my cooking was for make him happy and that my tears were just because I was lonely.  He can't understand why I would be lonely when he is right here beside me all day, every day.


One year ago-An Available Resource

Day 12-Rest


I don't know why I am so tired all the time.  I can't seem to get enough rest.  I fall asleep throughout the day and feel so tired and weepy all the time.  He gets angry because I am "mopey".  He doesn't understand what more I could want.  I want to get off this damn Island but when I say that he gets hurt and shuts me out.  And then there is no one.  All the house staff has been let go.  There is still the grounds keeper and the captain of the ship.  I wonder if I might have an ally in one of them.  But he is always around.  At least with the house staff there were times that I might get a moment alone with them but that is not true of the groundskeeper or captain.  If I dare to step outside he is right there by my side.  I get no peace.....I get no rest....

I try to act cheerful when he is watching me but he is always watching me even when I think he is otherwise occupied.   


One year ago--And to All a Good Night

Day 13-Work


Was it really only 2 days ago that I was so excited?  That I believed things were turning around?  It was time for my weekly phone call to my Mom.  As he handed me the phone he said "Let your Mom know that I have to go out of the Country on some work business so you won't be in touch with her for a while".  I was so excited..... I asked where we were going and when we were leaving.

I love going on business trips with him.  I would shop while he was in meetings during the day and then we would go out to dinner, dancing and sight seeing each evening.  We would laugh and joke around and make love until the wee morning hours.  I couldn't believe that finally, life was getting back to normal.  He said that he had work meetings in various cities and would be travelling Europe for several weeks.  I was so excited when I spoke to Mom. And she was excited for me.


One year ago--Mom breaks her foot

Day 14-Away


The next day I awoke early and ran downstairs to ask him how I should pack. I ran into to kitchen, thinking that perhaps he was making coffee but he wasn't there.  I ran out to the porch thinking he was drinking coffee but he wasn't there.  I ran into the living room and saw the letter telling me he had gone away.

"Don't think for one minute, my dear, that I don't listen to what you say," he wrote.  "I spend my life striving to make you happy.  You said you wanted some solitude, that I was smothering you, so I decided we needed some time away from each other.  I will be back when my work is done.  I have given the grounds keeper the next month off and Captain will drop me at port and wait in the City for my return.  Enjoy your time away from me and think about how much I love you and want to be with you."


One year ago--It's not a break

Day 15-Life


I read that letter and chills started going down my spine.  What did I do....what kind of life was I going to have, married to this mad man.  I can't believe he left me here on this island, all alone,with no way to make contact with anyone or anyone to make contact with me.  Not even him!!!  What if something happened to me? What if I got sick?  What if I broke my leg?  No. NO. NOOOOO.  I am not going to allow myself to go there.  I am NOT going to let him knock the life out of me.  He is NOT going to dictate my life!  

I just need to keep a clear head and think.  He is trying to keep me frightened.  He is trying to prove that I am completely dependent on him...that I have no life without him.


One year ago--Rough Night for Mom and Dawn

Day 16- Adjust


I spent the next days, while he was gone, walking the Island and thinking.  Thinking about how I was going to manage to get off this Island.  I need to adjust my behavior to regain his trust.  I needed to make him believe that his plan of proving to me how much I needed him, how dependent I am on him, worked.  I needed to adjust my behavior back to how it was with us in the beginning, when I thought his constant neediness was endearing and proved how much he loved me.

So I made a plan, and adjusted and tweaked the plan until I think it is almost fool proof. Now just to await his has been nearly a week....I wonder how long he thinks my punishment and exile should last?


One year ago-Welcome to Wednesday

Day 17-Long


It has been 12 long days since he has been gone.  I have walked this Island, which measures 2 miles by 4 miles at least 3 times each day.  I have cleaned the entire house, 7200 square feet, from top to bottom.  I am nearly out of food.  Surely, he would not leave me here without any food.  Would he??

I have never been in such isolation.  There is no radio, no television, no computer, no phone. Just this notebook in which I am sharing my story, and I may have to burn this when (if?) he ever returns.  

I must stop this....of course, he is going to return and then, at long last, I can put my plan in to effect.I am going to get off of this Island, one day.  I promise myself that!


One year ago--A Good Day

Day 18-Taste


Well he finally got home 3 days ago.  I have such a bad taste in my mouth but I am swallowing it along with my pride.  When he finally came back, I ran to him.  I grabbed him and went on and on about how much I missed him. I told him over and over how much I loved him.  I acted like he had given me the world as Captain unloaded the groceries he had brought back with him.  I took him inside and made him a drink.  I sat with rapt attention as he told me all about his trip. I told him how much I wish I could have been there, not to see anything, but just to be with be held in his arms.  I made his favorite meal and then we fed each other champagne and strawberries as I told him how I hadn't realized how much I had taken him and his love for granted.  I vowed to him that it would never happen again.  Each day I have followed him around like a puppy.  He has asked me twice so far if I want to call my Mom.  I have told him there is plenty of time for that.  That right now the only person I wanted to talk to or be with was him.


One year ago--A Complete Turn Around

Day 19- Honor


I tell him that while he was gone I spent a lot of time thinking about our Wedding vows and how I promised to love, honor and cherish him.  I apologize for failing to live up to those promises.  I choke on the words but I force them out and I am rewarded with a gloating "I  told you so" look before he takes me in his arms and tells me that it's okay.  That he knew I just needed time to learn what was important.  That was why he was limiting my contact with others. That is why we needed to stop entertaining and going on vacations.  So that I could learn.  So that I could see...what, exactly....those Wedding vows meant.  He knew I would...He had faith in me....I just needed a little reminding.

Oh yes, I agreed.  I am so glad that he is so smart and knows me so well.  What a wonderful husband he is and how lucky I am to have him.  I have to stop myself from putting it on too thick.  I don't want him to get suspicious but I need not worry....his ego is huge!!


One year ago--ooops

Day 20- Fear


I need to swallow this fear I feel.  If I am ever to make this plan work, I have to get over this fear. Yes, I will be taking a chance, but what choice do I have.  I can fight my fear and take this chance or I can live the rest of my life in this exile he has created for me.  Lila knows the code.  She will remember the code and she will come to my rescue.  She always has.  I just need to get that code to her.  

I remember the first time we used the code....was that really 20 years ago?  Whenever one of us would go on a blind date, the other would call at an appointed time.  If things were not good the person on the date would ask what time the appointment was the next day.  Of course, it was very early which would give us a reason to say goodnight and end the date.   I just need to get this message to her.

I can't call her directly...he would never fall for that.


Day 21- Second


I was unable to put my plan into effect the first time I spoke with my mother.  He was right there next to me the entire time so I told her all about how wonderful our trip to Europe was and how happy I was to be home.  I told her how wonderful he is and how complete my life is.  All the things that I wish were true.  All the things my Mom would want to hear and all the things he expects me to say.

The second time I spoke with my Mom we were having a glass of wine and while speaking with her on the phone I emptied my glass.  He got up to refill it for me and I had my chance.  I didn't waste a second because I didn't know how long he would be gone.  I reminded Mom it was Lila's birthday and when she called her could she please ask her what time my appointment was.  Mom started to question me but I quickly assured her that Lila would know exactly what I meant and it was important.  He walked in just as the last words were out of my mouth so I just kept rambling on about how much I missed her and that he has promised that we will be coming home to see her in the very near future...just as soon as his work allows.


One year ago--Puppy Love

Tuesday Triumphs and Failures

Yesterday, when Frank came home from work, Bella did not run up to greet him.  He came inside and asked if she were in and I responded I had last seen her about half an hour earlier.  We went out and called and searched and drove around.  We called the local police department. We shared (and all of our friends) shared her picture and information on facebook and one of my friends shared it on a site called Love for Louie which is just for lost pets.

We had a very restless night, taking turns going out onto the deck to yell for her.  This morning Frank went out in the car looking again and then he decided to walk and look in the ditches because we knew that if she could come home she would.  He came in and we were feeling pretty low when the phone rang and it was a wonderful woman who had our Bella Baby and had gotten our number through Love of Louie.  She brought her home and the shock collar is back on Bella after a full year of not needing it.  She is a smart dog...she knows that shock collar is there....she goes out, does her business and comes right back in.  She won't even go exploring on our acres while she has that collar on.

This all happened in time for me to still be able to have time to get to Zumba class.  This is the first time I have exercised since my dastardly fall during roller skating.  It was not easy, the squats and lunges are still very painful for me.  I really damaged myself with that fall. But I got through the class with the saddest looking squats you ever saw and I am back on track on My Quest for Fitness.

Our little pig still is not doing well but our friend, Cindy's daughter is a country vet and she called us. We told her what we were doing and how the pig was responding.  She told us to up the dosage of antibiotics and administer twice a day. She said that if it is an inner ear infection it can take up to a month for the pig to get well.  That seems like a lot of antibiotics in my meat but the piglet still has 3 months of growing to do so even if it takes a month to get better it will still have 2 months to grow before market.

While doing my Weekly Menu this week, I went through a binder that contains all the recipes that I have pulled out to try.  The keepers remain in the binder and the others get removed once they are tried.  I came across this recipe that I decided to make for Try it Tuesday today.

As you can see, I copied from a book, but nowhere does it give the book info on this page so I am unable to credit the author of the recipe.  I followed the recipe as written which is pretty unusual for me but I had all the ingredients called for and the recipe sounded appealing as written.

It looked good.
The meat was fork tender.
But it was pretty bland.

I am including the recipe for those of you that want to try to doctor it up but, as for myself, it is not a keeper.  I have too many great Asian recipes to waste time and energy on this one again.  It wasn't bad, our plates were emptied but it wasn't anything that made us say "Wow, this is good" and so it won't be made again here.

Chinese Beef and Tomatoes

1 med. onion, sliced
1 small green pepper, cut into chunks
2 ribs celery, sliced
3 T. soy sauce
1/4 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. pepper
1 lb. round steak cut into strips
1 T. butter
1/2 c. water
1 t. beef bouillon granules
1 T. cornstarch
1 T. cold water
1 1/2 t. sugar
1/4 t. ground ginger
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

Place vegetables into a slow cooker. 

Combine 2 T. of soy sauce, garlic powder and pepper into a shallow bowl.  Add steak and toss to coat.

Brown meat in butter in a large skillet over med high heat.  Pour over vegetables.  Deglaze the pan with the 1/2 c. water, add the bouillon and bring to a boil, scraping up any brown bits stuck to the pan.  Pour over the meat and vegetables. Stir, cover and cook on high for 4 hrs.

In a small bowl combine the remaining T. of soy sauce, water, sugar , cornstarch and ginger.  Stir until smooth.  Stir into liquid in slow cooker.  Add tomatoes. Cover and continue to cook on high for another 15 minutes.  Print Recipe

One year ago--Monday Moaning

Pumpkin Praline Pancakes, Day 2, #Pumpkin Week

Welcome to Day #2 of Pumpkin Week, where a group of Foodie Bloggers have gathered to bring you everything Pumpkin.  Yesterday there were some great recipes shared.  You can find them right here.
Come back each day this week and join in the fun!!

Now, if you are a regular reader of this blog, you know that Frank is in charge of the pancakes that are made in this household.  He is very particular about his pancakes as I shared with you here.  So this morning he made his batter as always and then I gave him my spiced pumpkin puree to mix in and chopped pecans to add.  They were delicious!!

He made his batter according to the directions on Aunt Jemima Original Recipe Mix, using melted butter instead of oil and then adding the spiced pumpkin puree that I provided.

He then sprinkled in the pecans, one at a time, just like he does with blueberries.

Cooked to perfection and delicious.
Like a mouthful of Pumpkin Praline Pie in each bite.

Pumpkin Praline Pancakes

2 c. Aunt Jemima Original Recipe Pancake Mix
1 1/2 c, milk
2 eggs
3 T. melted butter
1 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. each, ginger, cloves and nutmeg.
1/2 c. pecans, roughly chopped

Place pumpkin puree and spices in a small saucepan and cook over med heat until dry and starting to carmelize. Remove from heat to cool.

Preheat griddle to 375*.

In a large bowl mix remaining ingredients.  Whisk in the pumpkin spice mixture until blended. Scoop approx. 1/3 c of batter onto the griddle, continue in this manner spacing each about 1/2" apart until griddle is full.  Sprinkle nuts onto each pancake and cook until edges start to dry and bubbles form on top. Flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes, until second side is golden brown.  Print Recipe

Check out all the other  #PumpkinWeek Bloggers and their recipes:

Baked Pumpkin Donut Holes by Love and Confections
How to: Make Your Own Pumpkin Puree by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Slow Cooker Vegetarian Pumpkin Chili by The Spiffy Cookie
Pumpkin Ravioli with Tarragon by Curious Cuisiniere
Pumpkin Spice Instant Hot Chocolate Mix by Lady Behind The Curtain
Pumpkin Praline Pancakes by A Day in the Life on the Farm
Baked Pumpkin Donuts by Making Miracles

Monday, October 20, 2014

Meatless Mexican Monday

I didn't get  a lot accomplished today but I did get lots of baby cuddles and Ting was able to get a couple of hours of sleep so it was a good day.

We are a little concerned right now because our Bella girl is missing.  She did not greet Frank when he got home from work and we have been calling her and Frank has been driving around but we have not seen hide nor hair.  I pray she returns soon, safe and sound.

We gave our little piggie her last penicillin shot today.  She seems a little improved but not nearly as much as we had hoped.

I have not had any exercise since last Monday when I fell at skating so it has been one whole week. Tomorrow is Zumba so hopefully I will get back on track.

Today is Meatless Monday and I found this recipe at Ambitious Kitchen quite some time ago and have been wanting to make it.  I was reminded of it when going through my file of recipes to try.  It is perfect not only for Meatless Monday but also for Mexican Monday.  Frank made up a batch of his Famous Margaritas while I made dinner.

Of course, there were plenty of adaptations because I never seem to have the same stuff in the pantry and larder as others. So instead of chili pepper I used a quarter teaspoon of chili paste from Garden Gourmet.  I had to do this because, of course, I had no Red Enchilada Sauce and had to make my own which used up all of the chili pepper in the cupboard.  I did not add as much cumin as called for to adapt it more to our taste.  I also had no corn tortillas but I did have a bag of tortilla chips so I used them instead.  So to make a long story can go to the link above and make the recipe as written or you can follow my recipe which turned out really delicious!!  Of course, you can always just go between recipes and adapt them to suit your tastes and available ingredients because, after all, a recipe is nothing but a guideline.

Saute your onions, garlic and jalapeno until fragrant and onion is translucent.

Add your squash and cook until fork tender, 8-10 minutes.

Add beans and stir to combine.

Add Enchilada Sauce, Corn Chips and half the cheese.
Stir to combine.

Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Place under broiler until brown and bubbly.


Butternut Squash and Black Bean Enchilada Skillet
adapted from Ambitious Kitchen

2 t. olive oil
3 cups butternut squash, cut into 1/2" dice
1 med. onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small jalapeno, seeded and diced
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 t. cumin
1/4 t. chili paste
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 c. tortilla chips, roughly crushed
2 c. red enchilada sauce
1 1/2 c. Colby Jack Cheese

Heat olive oil over med high heat in oven safe skillet.  Add onions, garlic and jalapeno.  Season with salt and pepper and cook until fragrant and onion is translucent.  Add squash, cumin and chili paste. Cook for 8-10 minutes until squash is fork tender but not mushy and falling apart.  Add beans, chips, enchilada sauce and 1/2 c. cheese.  Stir to combine.  Remove from heat and sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Place under broiler until hot and bubbly and cheese begins to brown.  Print Recipe

Macaroni with Kale and Creamy Pumpkin Sauce~~#PumpkinWeek

Today is the first day of #PumpkinWeek, hosted by Terri of Love and Confections.  This is going to be a fun filled week of everything pumpkin.  I am a pumpkin fanatic and I am so excited to share my recipes and learn some new recipes this week.

I think that many people, when if they think of pumpkin, only think of Halloween Jack o Lanterns, Pie and perhaps a pumpkin roll.  Well, we are here to tell you that there is  much more than that to your average pumpkin.  Wait until you see all the great recipes we have in store for you.

I wanted to start the week of with a savory recipe. That's right....pumpkin is good even when it is not served in a dessert.  Pumpkin is a great source of potassium and vitamin A and C.  In this first recipe I share I guarantee you that if you don't tell your family that there is pumpkin in the recipe they will never know....just in case you have some picky can simply tell them it is Mac and Cheese.  You can include any vegetables you like or none at all if you prefer.  I used Kale because we love it and it was in my fridge.  Kale is a nutritional power house to so if you can sneak it in, go for it.

The first thing I did to prepare for pumpkin week is make some pumpkin puree.  You can find my easy peasy recipe here or you can pick up some canned pumpkin puree.

Combine Cream Cheese, Milk, Butter and Pumpkin.
Cook and stir over low heat until melted and creamy.
Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.

In a separate pan, saute onion and kale in olive oil until tender.

Add Kale mixture to the Cream Cheese Mixture.

Stir to combine. 
 Add another drop of milk if sauce is too thick.

Toss with the pasta, cooked according to package directions.
Sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese or Parmesan/Romano Blend

Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly and browned.

Pasta with Kale and Creamy Pumpkin Sauce

1 (1 lb) box pasta of your choice, I used Penne, cooked per package directions
1 (8 oz) block Neufchatel cheese
1 stick butter
3/4 c. milk
1 c. pumpkin puree
1/8 t nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
1 T. olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 bunch Kale, stemmed and roughly chopped
1/4 c. Parmesan/Romano cheese blend 

Place cream cheese, butter, milk and pumpkin puree into a large sauce pan.  Cook and stir over med low heat until melted and combined.  Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper.  In a separate pan saute onions and kale in olive oil until softened.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.. Add to the Cheese mixture.  Combine with your cooked pasta and place into a baking pan or casserole sprayed with olive oil.  Sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese.  Bake at 350* for 30 minutes or until browned on top and bubbly.  Print Recipe

And a little note from our host:

We are celebrating our love of the season with a whole week of pumpkin goodies, leading up to National Pumpkin Day. 17 Food Bloggers have come together to share over 65 recipes with you. In addition to homemade pumpkin puree, pie, and cookies, we are also sharing savory pumpkin dishes like hummus, chili and pumpkin corn chowder. Come back every day for #PumpkinWeek recipes. You can also find these great recipes and more on Love and Confections' #PumpkinWeek Pinterest Board!

Check out all the other #PumpkinWeek Bloggers and their recipes:
Pumpkin Loaf by Love and Confections
Lemongrass-Kissed Sankaya (Thai Pumpkin Custard) by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Brown Butter Pumpkin Cupcakes with Biscoff Frosting by The Spiffy Cookie
Pumpkin Peach Smoothie by Happy Food Healthy Life
Egg and Pumpkin Breakfast Cups by Curious Cuisiniere
Witches Eye Glass Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes by Lady Behind The Curtain
Easy Homemade Pumpkin Puree by Life Tastes Good
Pumpkin Orange Soup by The Not So Cheesy Kitchen
Roasted Pumpkin and Chickpea Samosas by A Kitchen Hoor's Adventures
Slow Cooker Pumpkin Butter by My Catholic Kitchen
Pumpkin Scones by Making Miracles
Chewy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies by The Pajama Chef
Pumpkin Molasses Cookies by That's My Home
Pumpkin Spice Overnight Oatmeal by Dizzy Busy and Hungry