Pumpkin Soup

This is about the same color as I remember this soup being, I stole this picture because I have never taken a picture of this soup, sorry. I tried this for the first time about two Thanksgivings ago as a way to jazz up some leftover cooked sweet potatoes, but it works just as well with pumpkin. The point is it’s one of those dishes that appears way more fancy than it is. (And a great way to sneak in some veggies for your picky eater)

What You Will Need:

2 Tablespoons butter (or margarine)

1 cup chopped onion

2 celery stalks, chopped

4 carrots, peeled and chopped

1 large garlic clove, chopped

1 large can pumpkin (or what I usually use: 3 sweet potatoes cooked, peeled, cut into large chunks)

1 can (about 16 ounces) low sodium chicken broth (you can use veggie broth if you prefer)

1 can (about 10 ounces) evaporated milk

1 cinnamon stick

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 1/2 cups whipping cream (not heavy whipping cream)

2 Tablespoons maple syrup

Large saucepan (with lid)

Blender (unless you are truly gadget gifted and own a food processor, of course my blender lives on the countertop which makes its access easier too, so there’s that…)

What to Do:

In a saucepan cook onion, celery, carrots, garlic, broth, and butter until everything is mushy. (Celery will be clear and you will be able to literally mush the carrots with the spoon you are stirring with against the side of the pan)

Add canned pumpkin (or sweet potatoes) to blender along with cooked veggie mix and evaporated milk. Blend until very smooth, it will be just too thick for a straw. Add nutmeg and maple syrup to blender, blend again.

Dump contents of blender back into saucepan. Turn heat to medium. Drop in Cinnamon stick.

Add whipping cream and stir.

Bring back to boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cover for 20 minutes.

Remove cinnamon stick and serve!

*This is great as a side/meal starter, but it makes a really festive simple lunch served with plain toasted cinnamon raisin bread.*

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Braided Wreath Pumpkin Bread

I promise yours acan look like this too, super easy!This is a recipe I got from one of those small paperback cookbooks in the grocery store. Click here for the link to the original recipe (the completed picture is also from their site, as it looks clearer that any picture I had available). The recipe below is my 3rd (or 4th) version of the original. Not much tweaking has actually occurred in our favorite version of this, which is part of the reason I tracked down the website, gotta give those folks at Pillsbury their due, right? This wreath is usually something that gets made at Christmas time and given as a gift or brought to a gathering.

What You Will Need:

Bread:

In between 6 and 6 1/2 cups flour

1/4 cup sugar

¼ cup light brown sugar (packed)

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 packages regular active dry yeast

1 cup canned pumpkin

1/4 cup butter (go real, salted butter here, I promise you will notice the difference)

1 1/2 cups apple juice

Fancy Top: (which is really easy & totally looks just like the picture, so give it a go)

1 egg

2 Tablespoons water

2 teaspoons sesame seed

2 teaspoons poppy-seed

What to Do:

In a small sauce pan on medium/high heat combine pumpkin, butter and juice. You will want the butter melted and the mixture to start to bubble, then immediately remove from heat.

Combine dry bread ingredients in a large mixing bowl. (Use only 2 ½ cups of flour at this time)

Add hot pumpkin mix to flour; mix with electric mixer until just combined. Start to gradually add more flour until you have a soft dough. (You probably will not need all the flour listed)

Dust flour on (clean) countertop and place dough on top; knead to mix ingredients really well. (spend 2 to 4 minutes doing this, but keep in mind over kneading is just as bad as over mixing and how you end up with doorstops instead of fluffy breads).

Butter (again as a verb) a medium-sized mixing bowl and roll dough inside to grease it all over. Cover dough in bowl with Saran Wrap. Leave the dough on the counter for at least 1 hour. (It should grow about 2 time its previous size)

While you are waiting, butter a large round cake pan.

When the dough is huge punch it down and then divide it into 2 halves, then each half into 3 equal (or as best as you can) parts.

Now the fun part! This is Play-doh you can lick later and not regret. Roll each sixth into a dough rope (try to keep them all the same length). Using 3 ropes at a time pinch the ends together and braid. Add other ropes, pinch into a circle when you get to the end.

Place in cake pan. Cover with (clean) dish towel and put back on counter for about 30 minutes. (That yeast’ll go crazy and double again, which can be very entertaining for any tiny cooks in your kitchen, they can also really help with this next part)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

While your wreath is rising whisk egg and water in a small bowl.

Once wreath is ready to bake use a pastry brush to brush on egg mixture (it’s called an egg wash) if they can “paint” gently let those tiny cooks do this. Lightly sprinkle seeds on top.

Put in oven and bake about 25 minutes (it will be a lovely golden brown when done).

Remove from pan and allow to cool.

*Note: this is great room temperature or warm, but warm and dipped in apple butter? That is something that you think about later if you know what I mean…*

Pumpkin Spice Bars

These are delicious and also great for taking places. You can freeze these, but I wouldn’t for longer than a month or two. If you are going to take them somewhere frost them but do not cut them until you are ready to serve, they will transport better and stay moist longer that way.

What You Will Need:

4 eggs

2 cups sugar

1 cup vegetable oil

15 oz pumpkin

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1 cup raisins (at Christmas we prefer this with Cranraisins)

Cream Cheese Frosting

What to do:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Use a paper towel to butter (you can use margarine, I usually do. Butter is a verb here) a 13 x 9 pan.

In a large mixing bowl mix all “wet ingredients” this includes the pumpkin.

In a medium mixing bowl mix the “dry ingredients”, minus the raisins.

Add dry to wet ingredients, stirring as little as possible.

Smooth batter into pan and bake for about 30 minutes.

Allow to completely cool, in pan. Then frost. Let frosting set for at least 4 hours (overnight is best) before cutting and serving.

Yum!

Harvest Pancakes

A friend suggested that I write the Harvest Pancake recipe first and then emailed back & said “don’t forget that gross spider web thing the kids love”. So both of these recipes are dedicated to “the kids” (who really do love the idea of webby bug riddled pancakes) and Ree.

What you will need:

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1/4 cup Truvia (or Splenda)

3/4 cup milk

¼ cup water

Vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

12 oz canned pumpkin

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Optional: Syrup

Powdered Sugar

Dried cranberries

Crushed Pecans

Diced Apples

Stewed Apples

What to do: (Wow, just typing all that I’m hungry)

Mix all ingredients except oil and things listed under optional.

Add any diced apples, cranberries, or crushed pecans you would like to use.

Heat oil in pan or on griddle until it bubbles.

Pour out circles of batter. Leave to rise and begin to brown on bottom edges. (There will be bubbles all over top side of pancake when ready to flip)

Flip allow, rising again. Remove from pan when cooked through (about 45 seconds after flipping).

Top with butter, syrup, stewed apples, and/or powdered sugar.

Halloween Treat:

Do not add any “extras” to batter, but do remove water and add 3 Tablespoons more flour.

Pour into Ziploc baggie.

Cut small corner of baggie open.

Pipe batter onto hot pan/griddle in spider web shapes!

Allow to cook as usual.

*Dropping a few raisins on the plate before the syrup add a little to the spider feel of these pancakes.*

A Seasonal Romance

Fall! Yup, cold at night and not ever hot during the day. Fall is totally here in the south. You all know that summer is my favorite, but that doesn’t mean I plan to be a whiny mope the rest of the year (unless I’m sick, duh). The beginning of Fall rekindles my yearly romance with the pumpkin. RedBird and I start buying up all the pumpkin flavored foods as soon as they hit the shelves. We go crazy, then by Thanksgiving we are all, ugh, pie? *shudder*. It’s definitely one of those flash in the pan, hot and heavy romances, that’s comes on too strong to last. But, it’s been a whole year so it’s totally time for crazy amounts of pumpkin related stuff. Yay! I already made Pumpkin Bread, and when I was drinking my pumpkin coffee this morning while eating my pumpkin bagel I realized this might be an obession others could benefit from. I mean, if it exists, I have at least tried it (as far as pumpkin goes). So I’m going to try to remember as many pumpkin successes as I can (and as many failures, I can think of at least 2, and I know there are more) and post them here, well, until I get over pumpkin for the year. Do you have any suggestions or recipes you’d like to see? Like, are you searching for a pumpkin cookie that has an entire serving of veggies in it, but is okay for a diabetic to eat? I have one for that. Comment below, or email me at mamaskitchentable@gmail.com with any requests, I will try to fill them all. Enjoy the pumpkin love!!!

Pumpkin Bread

Braided Pumpkin Bread Wreath

Harvest Pancakes

Spider Web Pumpkin Pancakes

Pumpkin Spice Bars

Pumpkin Soup