October 31, 2011

Boo to you!

Happy Halloweener Everyone!

What are your plans for today?

The Cyclist & I are debating whether to turn off the lights and pretend we aren't home, 
or stop by the store and buy candy for all the ghoul's and goblin's that might be stopping by later.

I know.  
It sounds terrible that we would consider hiding but....well...
...it sort of seems like Halloween is already over to me.  
Halloween on a Monday isn't as much of a fun-day.  
And since the Munchkin doesn't even know what candy is (yay parents!), 
Halloween won't be a big fun event for him until probably next year or so.

Anyway, we did get to attend an annual Pumpkin Carving Party on Friday (thank you Suegee!) 
which was Halloween fun for kids and adult's alike.  

Check out our creations!



Have a safe & Happy Halloween!


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October 28, 2011

Pumpkin Madness Day Three - The Pumpkin Cookie Caper

After making that Spicy Pumpkin Hummus and thinking it was a recipe fail,
I wanted something sweet!

So, I thought, roasted pumpkin + ??? 
Could I make a pumpkin sugar cookie?
No, I wanted more.
But chocolate chips + pumpkin.  No.
I had butterscotch chips.  No.
Ah-ha!
White chocolate chips!
Pumpkin white chocolate chip cookies with brown sugar!
YES!
I even ran to the store at 9PM to buy white chocolate chips.

And I made these....


(I was still playing with Hipstamatic so these pics are kinda scary)

And then I came to work on Monday and saw this....


and this...

Photograph: TK Blog

What the what?!

Was this girl peeking in my window Saturday night?

But alas, this cookie recipe was originally posted by Cassie at Bake Your Day  long before the idea entered my mind.

But seriously, look at the similarities between our recipes:

Mine/Cassie's

1 cup Flour/2-¼ cups All-purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder/1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda/1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon/1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
3 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice/2 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice
pinch of Salt/½ teaspoons Salt
1/2 teaspoon Cream of Tartar1 Stick of Butter, Softened (or 1/2 cup)/½ cups Butter, Softened
1/2 cups White Sugar/1 cup Granulated Sugar
1 cup Brown Sugar/½ cups Brown Sugar
1 cup Pumpkin/1 cup Pumpkin Puree
1 egg/1 whole Egg
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
6oz or 1/2 bag White Chocolate Chips/1-½ cup White Chocolate Chips

Anyway, the only thing I would change in my recipe is to add a tad more flour.  The cookies were super moist, which I like, but weren't sticking quite enough.

I swear I did not see this recipe until Gaby's post on Monday!
Just ask the peeps I brought cookies to at Sunday night's Savage Sprints!

I obviously won't be posting this to Tasty Kitchen as it is just too similar.  
It is posted below, with my fix on the flour.

Additionally, it was suggested to me that these would be good with craisins...and I started thinking about that and sliced almonds....so I may be modifying this in the near future!!

Ingredients:
1 cup Pumpkin
1/2 cups White Sugar
1 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
1 Stick of Butter, Softened (or 1/2 cup)
1 egg
1 1/4 cups Flour
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
3 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice
pinch of Salt
6oz or 1/2 bag White Chocolate Chips

How to:
Put the pumpkin, sugar and butter in your mixer and mix until blended.
Add the egg and mix until blended.
Mix all of the dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then add in parts to the pumpkin/sugar/egg mixture.  Mix until blended.
Add the white chocolate chips last.
I let my dough sit in the fridge overnight and baked all the cookies the next day.
Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.

Enjoy!


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October 27, 2011

Pumpkin Madness Day Two - Spicy Pumpkin Hummus


Let's start at the end instead of the beginning....
Ladies & Gents, introducing Spicy Pumpkin Hummus....


YUM.

Why am I starting at the end?
For a few reasons.
1.  It took me much longer to produce this result than I originally anticipated (SWS strikes again).... I imagined the idea on October 7th and shared it with the Twitterverse....


The Cyclist's Wife
A brilliant Fall recipe idea just popped into my mind. Can't wait to see if it tastes as good as it sounds!
....but didn't actually produce until now.  Not exactly speedy.

2.  When I finally got around to making this, The Cyclist was out of town with our camera...

(not bad right?  The Cyclist is a better picture taker than me)

Anyway.  

I was left at home with my iPhone.  And Hipstamatic.
So I decided to get artistic and use the shake feature after each set of photos.
The result is the schizophrenic photo montage you will see below.

3.  I sort of turned into a mad scientist while making this.  Do you know how much it takes to get pumpkin spicy?  Well, you'll see below.  

So, with my delay, crazy photos and mad scientist approach, I figured you'd all be scared away if I showed you this ↓ hot mess first & I think you deserved to see the end result first after waiting so long.

Don't be scurred.  The Spicy Pumpkin Hummus is goo-ood!

I roasted my own pumpkins and used 1 cup of fresh pumpkin. 
You can probably use canned too...I saw some organic canned pumpkin at my local co-op the other day.





Some of the many spices.....






I used this method for preparing the Tahini.  
I did not use the same ingredients or ingredient measurements though.

Curdled....






Smooth...






Tahini mix into pumpkin mix....





.....gotta have some garlic....






I crushed mine...





Cilantro...











When I got this I wasn't anticipating using it in hummus, but it did the trick!






Red hot peppers...






...cut...





...cored & ready to roast...





....roasted...





...chopped up and being added to the mix...





Here is what my kitchen looked like upon completion.
Crazy town.



Let me just say, miracles do happen to hummus overnight.
At this point in making the hummus, I though it was a recipe fail.
I threw it in the fridge and said "I quit".
The next day, it tasted good.
The day after that, it tasted really good!
Enjoy.
Recipe below & at Tasty Kitchen
What:
1 cup fresh pumpkin (or canned)
1 cup garbanzo beans (aka chick peas, drained)
1 tsp. allspice
1 tsp. garam masala
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. garlic pepper
1/2 tsp. red cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4-1/2 cup water + 1 tbsp water
2 tbsp. tahini
3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 cloves garlic (crushed)
2 tbsp. fresh cilantro (chopped)
2 tbsp. pickled ginger (or less fresh ginger)
2 tbsp. chopped roasted red hot pepper
2 tbsp. honey
4 tbsp. olive oil

How to:

Slice & core the hot pepper.  Place it on a cookie sheet and high broil in your oven until the skins turn black.  Put them in a plastic bag to steam for about 15 minutes.
While the peppers are roasting, put the pumpkin in a food processor.
Mix all of the dry spices and add it to the pumpkin, blend.
My pumpkin mix was not that smooth at this point, so I started adding water by the tablespoon.  I used about 1/2 cup all together.
In a separate dish, mix the tahini with the lemon juice.  It will start to curdle at first, then become smooth as you mix it.  Add the additional 1 tbsp. of water to this mixture to help it become smooth.  Once the mix is smoothed out, add it to the pumpkin mixture and blend.
Add the cilantro and pickled ginger to the mixture and blend.
Your peppers should be about done.  I tried to peel the skin off of mine and it didn't work, so I chopped them, skin on, and added them to the pumpkin mixture, then blended.
You will have to blend this quite a bit, stirring in between, to make sure you don't have any chunks of ginger or red pepper.
Once the mixture is smoothed out, add the honey and blend.
Last, add the olive oil and blend well.
Put the completed hummus in a sealed container in the fridge overnight.  The flavors will meld and it will be good to go the next day.

We enjoyed this with Indian Naan bread from Trader Joe's.

I'm linking at the following sites:
The Healthy Home Economist
New Life on a Homestead
Make Ahead Meals for Busy Mom's
My Sweet & Savory
Hey What's for Dinner Mom
Delightfully Dowling
Simply Sugar & Gluten Free
All the Small Stuff
Real Food Forager
Growing Home
Kelly the Kitchen Kop
The Tasty Alternative
The Kings Court IV
The Gluten Free Homemaker
This Chick Cooks
Lady Behind the Curtain
We are that family
Miz Helen's Country Cottage
Pennywise Platter
Food Renegade
Ann Kroeker. Writer.
Food Trip Friday
Real Food Freaks
Life as Mom
Tidy Mom
Little House in the Suburbs







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October 25, 2011

Pumpkin Madness Day One - Roasting Pumpkins


C'mon everyone, celebrate Fall with me!





OK.  This is a photo of a photo from some mailer I got.
I totally ripped it off.  Admittedly.

But let's celebrate Fall anyway!
Even though "Fall" here in NorCal currently means 80 degrees!
Yay!

So we're going to roast up some pumpkins y'all.

Remember these lovely Buttercup Pumpkins I bought at the Farmer's Market?

Were you wondering what the H-e-double hockey sticks I was going to do with them?

Well here you go...

Get yourself some pumpkins...





I got these Buttercup Pumpkins because the Farmer's Market guy told me that they had the best flavor.

I found this recipe on how to roast a pumpkin after I bought the Buttercups, so it looks like the Farmer's Market dude gave me the correct advice.
According to the recipe, orange pumpkins are for Jack O'Lantern's and are too stringy for baking.
By the way, the above pic is 1 of many.
Because this was going on while I was attempting to do my pumpkin photos...




It's amazing how Otie can manage to get his nose under my armpit no matter what I'm doing.

So, about those Buttercups.
Check out all the knobblies...





The Farmer's Market Dude told me the Buttercup's were the small green ones with the weird belly button.

Found it!





This is what the inside looks like...





I followed the directions linked above (and here) for roasting.

It's pretty easy, but let me give you some commentary:
Make sure you have a super sharp knife.
These bad boys were tough to cut.

Here are some up close images of the inside...










I got way more seeds out of these than I anticipated.
More on that later.





Pumpkins de-seeded.





What it looks like from inside a pumpkin...
This makes me think of James & The Giant Peach for some reason.





Pumpkins scraped clean...





Ready to roast...




The roasting took longer than I expected, 375 for one and a half hours...
...it really took that long too.

Roasted inside...





...and outside.  They stuck to the pan pretty good...





I got at least 4 cups of pumpkin from the two small Buttercups.
I put it in a Tupperware to use for my two upcoming pumpkin based recipes which you'll see in a later post....





Left overs for the mulch bin...





The seeds....





Lemme tell ya about these seeds.
Is there a trick for getting the slippery, stringy stuff off?
It took me for days!!
I finally got them all clean and rinsed.
I laid them out on a paper towel (spread across a cookie sheet) and let them dry overnight....
...then I put them in a Ziploc (note to self, should be using something other than a plastic bag for storage) so I could make one of these pumpkin seed recipes from Not Rachel Ray.
BUT.
On about day two I noticed moisture in my bag.
So I opened it to let them dry out.
And the next morning they were growing mold.
Fail.

More Pumpkin Madness in posts to come!

Note:  Notice how I'm saying "upcoming posts" or "later post" instead of "later this week"?  I realized I did that a bunch of times last week and totally didn't deliver.  Fail again.  I have a skewed idea of what I think I can accomplish with what I can actually accomplish.  I will call this SuperWoman Syndrome.  I want to be SuperWoman but I'm just The Cyclist's Wife.  So, please excuse my SWS.  I will try to stop lying to you from now on.  Even if I believe myself.
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October 24, 2011

Savage Sprints @ Hot Italian 10/23/11


We came.  We saw.  He sprinted.  I watched.
Not bad for a Sunday night.






We also ate pizza and drank beer.






Pitchers of Racer 5, thankyouverymuch.






The racing started right away and the new pre-reg system kept it moving right along all night....






...in case you get lost...






Savage Sprints is held at Hot Italian, a coolio pizza place in Sac-Town at 16th & Q...

Let me give you a mini-tour....



















In case you didn't know, Savage Sprints is a fundraiser for the Sacramento Valley Velodrome Association
The hope is to build a track in Sac...












A familiar face at the races....












...and a bit more Hot Italian for you...














...I like the King Kong disc...






...in case you were wondering...






...back to the races for a moment...






...and a little more Hot Italian with the new Fiat on display...
























...you can pick up Savage Sprints gear at all of the races...






...if you missed out yesterday, you should come back...






"Go-Go-Go-Go-Go.....!!!!"












...nifty light fixture that caught my eye...






...until I was distracted by Bill N.'s voracious speed.
Check it out, he's vaporizing...


















Let me introduce you to the Izzo.  
Spinach, Gorgonzola, seasonal stone fruit & Marcona almonds.
You can order all salads on a pizza crust and eat them like a taco.
YUM.





 
 
We ordered another yummy pizza too, but I forgot to take a pic.


The Cyclist in deep concentration...






Ready?!  Go!






And about 8 seconds later...done!






The ladies raced too...






...including Ms. EK who had her first race back after a broken shoulder 
(? I think)...






Not bad for one armed racing!
Good job!!













Men's semi-finals....



















Men's Finals...






Hats off to DeanO & Katie for putting together another great night of Savage Sprinting!

If you have not come before (or didn't make it Sunday), I would encourage you to come to the next event!
It is a lot of fun and for a great cause.
Plus there is pizza and beer.
I dare you to argue with that.
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