Monthly Archives: October 2009

Happy Halloween!

Halloween Pumpkins

Happy Halloween!

Did you carve something fun? My husband thought up a Tram of Death for his pumpkin, while I followed a Spooky House pattern for mine. It was, as always, a lot of fun to carve pumpkins and we got a huge bowl of seeds out of it to roast. (Don’t forget to roast your pumpkin seeds.) Halloween Pumpkins

Happy Halloween!

Did you carve something fun? My husband thought up a Tram of Death for his pumpkin, while I followed a Spooky House pattern for mine. It was, as always, a lot of fun to carve pumpkins and we got a huge bowl of seeds out of it to roast. (Don’t forget to roast your pumpkin seeds.)

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Everyday Pumpkin Pie

Now, as I mentioned yesterday, it’s taken me a while to make my own pie completely from scratch, pumpkin and all. To be fair, my go-to recipe for years has been the recipe on the back of the Libby’s pumpkin can. It’s a great recipe, with excellent color and texture, but it just wasn’t quite what I wanted this time.

This version of pumpkin pie came out beautifully, but I’m not sure it’s the best it could be. I have some ideas that I’ll play around with this holiday season, some tweaks I want to make. But this recipe is an excellent “Everyday Pumpkin Pie” and quite fast and easy to put together. It’s certainly a pie I could whip up on the spot for a potluck or an unexpected family dinner, as long as I had some pumpkin puree tucked away in my freezer.Now, as I mentioned yesterday, it’s taken me a while to make my own pie completely from scratch, pumpkin and all. To be fair, my go-to recipe for years has been the recipe on the back of the Libby’s pumpkin can. It’s a great recipe, with excellent color and texture, but it just wasn’t quite what I wanted this time.

This version of pumpkin pie came out beautifully, but I’m not sure it’s the best it could be. I have some ideas that I’ll play around with this holiday season, some tweaks I want to make. But this recipe is an excellent “Everyday Pumpkin Pie” and quite fast and easy to put together. It’s certainly a pie I could whip up on the spot for a potluck or an unexpected family dinner, as long as I had some pumpkin puree tucked away in my freezer.

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From Scratch: Roasted Pumpkin Puree

It’s almost Halloween! Do you have your jack’o’lanterns ready? We have two that we’ll carve later this afternoon (I don’t like to carve too early so my pumpkins look good on Halloween).

Don’t forget: Don’t throw away those seeds. Roast them up with some salt or spices for a great treat. (Read more about roasting pumpkin seeds and two ways to flavor them here.)

So, today, I’m going to talk about how to make your own pumpkin puree that can be used in making pumpkin pie, instead of using stuff in a can. Tomorrow, I’ll post a recipe for making an excellent pumpkin pie using it, along with an easy pie crust.It’s almost Halloween! Do you have your jack’o’lanterns ready? We have two that we’ll carve later this afternoon (I don’t like to carve too early so my pumpkins look good on Halloween).

Don’t forget: Don’t throw away those seeds. Roast them up with some salt or spices for a great treat. (Read more about roasting pumpkin seeds and two ways to flavor them here.)

So, today, I’m going to talk about how to make your own pumpkin puree that can be used in making pumpkin pie, instead of using stuff in a can. Tomorrow, I’ll post a recipe for making an excellent pumpkin pie using it, along with an easy pie crust.

Posted in dairy-free, gluten-free, untranslated, vegan, vegetable, vegetarian | 7 Comments

Warm Chicken Spinach Salad

Warm Chicken Spinach Salad

Winter is finally here.

But that doesn’t mean that I’ll give up salads, like the fantastic warm spinach, chicken and mandarin salad below. Warm salads, along with soups and stews, will become everyday staples again, now that it’s cold and running the oven becomes a pleasure.

In any case, this warm salad is a wonderful dish to eat while baking or watching the snow or leaves fall. I hope it brightens your gloomy day as much as it did mine.Warm Chicken Spinach Salad

Winter is finally here.

But that doesn’t mean that I’ll give up salads, like the fantastic warm spinach, chicken and mandarin salad below. Warm salads, along with soups and stews, will become everyday staples again, now that it’s cold and running the oven becomes a pleasure.

In any case, this warm salad is a wonderful dish to eat while baking or watching the snow or leaves fall. I hope it brightens your gloomy day as much as it did mine.

Posted in chicken, dairy-free, gluten-free, recipes, salad, untranslated | 2 Comments

Buckwheat Pumpkin Bread

Buckwheat Pumpkin Bread

The trick was coming up with a recipe that wasn’t too sweet. Many pumpkin breads and banana breads suffer from being tooth-rottingly sweet – I’ve seen recipes call for 3 cups or more of sugar for ONE LOAF. Way, way too sweet. And believe me, if it’s too sweet for me, my husband won’t make it through a bite. Since he’s Latvian, he grew up loving sour foods, not sweet. Most of the commercial and restaurant desserts in America that he’s tried are simply too sweet for him.

After a few revisions, I came up with this recipe which I feel has a good balance between sweet and spicy, with just the right amount of savory nuttiness.Buckwheat Pumpkin Bread

The trick was coming up with a recipe that wasn’t too sweet. Many pumpkin breads and banana breads suffer from being tooth-rottingly sweet – I’ve seen recipes call for 3 cups or more of sugar for ONE LOAF. Way, way too sweet. And believe me, if it’s too sweet for me, my husband won’t make it through a bite. Since he’s Latvian, he grew up loving sour foods, not sweet. Most of the commercial and restaurant desserts in America that he’s tried are simply too sweet for him.

After a few revisions, I came up with this recipe which I feel has a good balance between sweet and spicy, with just the right amount of savory nuttiness.

Posted in bread, recipes, untranslated, vegetarian | 1 Comment

Žāvētu augļu un dzērveņu kompots (Cranberry-Mixed Fruit Kompots)

Kompots

Kompots is a simple drink made from dried fruit, water and sugar, along with a bit of citric acid or dry white wine. It can be served both hot and cold, the latter with whipped cream floated on top. In this one, we used cranberries to add the necessary acid, but you could use oranges or wine as well. It’s easy to make since most of the “cooking” is unattended soaking of one form or another — which makes it a great choice for making while you prepare a lot of other holiday dishes.

If you need a flavorful, not too sweet, and oh so delicious alternative to the typical punch or ‘nog this holiday season, give kompots a try.Kompots

Kompots is a simple drink made from dried fruit, water and sugar, along with a bit of citric acid or dry white wine. It can be served both hot and cold, the latter with whipped cream floated on top. In this one, we used cranberries to add the necessary acid, but you could use oranges or wine as well. It’s easy to make since most of the “cooking” is unattended soaking of one form or another — which makes it a great choice for making while you prepare a lot of other holiday dishes.

If you need a flavorful, not too sweet, and oh so delicious alternative to the typical punch or ‘nog this holiday season, give kompots a try.

Posted in dairy-free, Dessert, drinks, gluten-free, latvian, untranslated | 1 Comment

Miso-Glazed Thresher Shark Steaks

Last week, shark was on sale. I’ve only had shark once and my husband, never. So, we picked up a loin steak because it looked fabulous and carted it home for dinner that night.

That turned out to be a fantastic idea. The shark was extremely moist and flavorful, “sharky” but not overly so. Definitely worthwhile.
Last week, shark was on sale. I’ve only had shark once and my husband, never. So, we picked up a loin steak because it looked fabulous and carted it home for dinner that night.

That turned out to be a fantastic idea. The shark was extremely moist and flavorful, “sharky” but not overly so. Definitely worthwhile.

Posted in dairy-free, gluten-free, recipes, seafood, untranslated | Leave a comment