Sunday, November 18, 2012

Foods of Fall (all available on instagram)

 I had wanted to try this recipe for some time, having read about it in the Barbara Kingsolver book ANIMAL VEGETABLE MIRACLE. The idea of cooking in a pumpkin was pretty awesome, so far as I could tell.
 And she was right. It comes out looking beautiful... a stunning centerpiece for any table.
 But I have to say, I followed the recipe to the letter and it came out rather drinking straight cream with some pumpkin. The flavor was just too light, too subtle. It was nice, to be certain... but I wasn't blown away with the eating. I had revisions (which you'll see later).
 Fall was coming (obviously) and the weather chilled and when flipping through one of my favorite cookbooks (Local Flavors) I came upon a recipe I had dog eared for a future attempt. Herbed dumblings.
 And they were worth it. So easy and so delicious. I didn't use their soup recipe, but made my own. Just some veggies in pre made stock with a few herbs (bay leaves and chives and a few other things). But the dumplings were certainly the focus. Though, after the fact, I had wished I made the dumplings a little smaller. They were dense little suckers.
 I took to calling this heart break pie. It's a lot like my standard (though I usually make rhubarb because that's my personal favorite). The season being what it has been, though, I went with apple. My friend had a broken heart so I made a bourbon apple pie with pecan/oat crumble. The crust was whole wheat though. It wasn't my favorite pie, but nobody else seemed to have complaints.
 This was my second attempt with the soup cooked in the pumpkin. Here I used the Sugar Pumpkin (like for the pie), largely because it is small enough to cook for one (which I was obviously doing). I used sweet potatoes, onion, garlic, bay leaves, and broth instead of cream.
 It made for a thicker, more savory dish. I also ran it through the food processor. I also cooked it with whole stems of rosemary and thyme. After cooking, I was able to pull out the actual stems because the leaves themselves had cooked loose from them. Very, very low maintenance soup. And then I was able to scoop off the sides. Aaaaand, I roasted the seeds. After thoroughly dusting them in a curry and salt mixture.
 I woke up with a distinct need to candy ginger. I don't know why. That's literally what I woke up thinking about. And so I did. So easy! And delicious! And great while I was home sick for the whole week.
 So I put it on this snow pudding (recipe for snow pudding was stolen from epicurious). I have to say that this looks better than it was. The snow pudding is sort of like a jello/meringue. Texturally not for me. But the lime flavor of it was just delicate enough to be astounding. And while this was designed to top a basil custard, I decided to make a basil-lime syrup to drizzle over the top, and garnished with that aforementioned candied ginger.

Altogether, a nice light dessert.
 I'm not a big chocolate person, but I made this for others. Vegan chocolate truffles dusted with shredded coconut. Very, very rich. I made it through about half of one. But delicious. Really delicious.

I made this just tonight: stir fried pumpkin with red onion, garlic, chiles, basil, and instead of using the honey (which the recipe called for), I used this fairly intense ginger syrup which I just made this weekend. The syrup balanced out the spice, and the ginger gave it nice tang.

This last was a still life for a friend which I think turned out well: a fair depiction of my life.