A pumpkin recipe round-up

November First is always the day I buy my pumpkins to roast and preserve for winter.

There’s a farm up the road that displays them proudly all October, right through to the 31st, and then as soon as the calendar turns, they are tossed into the back of trucks and carted away. If I am there early enough in the morning, I can save a bunch from the rubbish heap – and save a pretty penny in the process.

Tomorrow, I’ll fill my trunk with pie pumpkins (also called sugar pumpkins) and dedicate a portion of my day to scooping seeds, roasting the squash and turning it into puree. Here’s a step-by-step tutorial of what that looks like, in case this is new kitchen territory for you.

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Pumpkin-Olive Oil Bread recipe from The Vanilla Bean Baking Book

This week has been unusually busy for me and I’m five days away from a big deadline with my next book, so I am taking a break from recipe development.

That is sometimes how the business of blogging goes: freelance work and publishing projects ebb and flow, occasionally taking precedence over blog posts.

However, I can promise that I have big plans for the holidays and you are sure to love what is coming. New recipes, round-ups, cookbook recommendations, and perhaps even a giveaway or two are all in the works – just as soon as I make that pesky deadline.

To break up the long work days, Clara and I play in the kitchen together on an occasional baking project, like this lightly-spiced pumpkin olive-oil bread. Today’s recipe comes from a new cookbook I am thrilled to tell you about…

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Simple Lentil, Pumpkin and Kale Soup

After an inspiring, but exhausting weekend away at a food blogging conference in Toronto, I returned home to a bare refrigerator and a rather chilly kitchen.

My days in the city had been spent with dear friends who are also hard core foodies, eating around at various hotspots each afternoon and feasting far into the night at our private events.

While I highly recommend shops like Nugateau and Forno Cultura, and can’t wait to return to Bar Ravel, the weekend left me longing to cook something comforting over my own stove, but what to make from the pantry stores?

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Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies (gluten-free)

A recent string of blustery, grey days abruptly ended our streak of glorious fall weather, and the pounding of the rain on the window panes sent me scuttling to the kitchen in search of warmth and comfort.

I found solace in a pan of marbled, maple-sweetened pumpkin cheesecake brownies, rich with both chopped chocolate and dark cocoa and lightly spiced with the beloved autumn flavour of my own ‘pumpkin spice’ blend.

If these brownies sound like an irresistible fall dessert, you are absolutely right. They are soft and dense, moist and rich – but what really makes them ideal is that they also contain a secret nutritious ingredient.

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Coconut Curried Pumpkin with Cinnamon Rice {vegan}

My local farm stand closed for the season on Monday, leaving nothing behind save for a few wisps of straw and dried corn husks.

Driving by that day, I saw them tossing pumpkins with abandon into the back of a wagon. The season was over and it seemed the sooner they could rid themselves of the squash the better. I pulled off the road, grabbed my change purse and went to inquire.

The farmer let me take as many as I wanted for fifty cents each and I drove away with big plans to roast them all for purée. I also made off with several cabbages, romanesco, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts on the stalk. All for under 10 dollars. It was a good start to the week.

Coconut Curried Pumpkin with Cinnamon Rice | Simple Bites {vegan}

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