Sunday, November 25, 2012

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread

When I really like a certain food, I tend to go overboard with it. For example when I found Betty Crocker's Chicken Pot Pie recipe, I made it three times for dinner that week. So the food du jour is pumpkin. After I made pumpkin soup I went straight to pumpkin bread.

To make a gluten-free version I used the Jules Gluten-Free mix that has proven to be so multipurpose. I doubled the spices and added a basic strudel topping for a little texture. The entire recipe makes a lot more than I wanted so I split the ingredients in half and made half gluten-free and half "gluten-full." A portion of the gluten-free batter went into ramekins for muffin-esque pastries, too.

Pumpkin Bread
1 can pumpkin 
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water
3 cups sugar
3 1/2 cups flour (gluten-free or regular)
2 tsp baking soda
1 1 /2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp ginger

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix together pumpkin, eggs, oil, water, and sugar.
In another bowl mis the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger.
Combine the wet and the dry ingredients.
Pour into well greased loaf pans.
Bake for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

These also freeze well! Enjoy!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Crafty: A Paper Leaf Wreath

Feeling crafty? Buy yourself a large straw wreath, pull out your handy glue gun, and cut up the dog-chewed dictionary you've been saving. Voila- you have an adorable Christmas-y wreath ready to hang on the wall!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Poem of the Day

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes, 
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, 
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting  
over and over announcing your place 
in the family of things.

from Dream Work by Mary Oliver published by Atlantic Monthly Press

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

We Love Blue Lily

We recently had the wonderful opportunity to have our pictures taken by Wendy & Tyler of Blue Lily Photography. We had so, so much fun! Wendy and Tyler were awesome and their kids were just the coolest. They also humored us and got our Will pup in 99.9% of the photos! If you are looking for a phenomenal photographer, look them up! It's likely that they will be shooting somewhere in your area. 

Get out and vote!

I did!!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

A New Fall Favorite: Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bean Soup

During one of my recent trips to Whole Foods I was able to sample a gluten-free Pumpkin Bean Soup from a cooking demonstration. It was so good I took a copy of the recipe. Turns out, the directions were easy, it only needed to cook for a short while, and the ingredient list was fairly straightforward, save for a whole Sugar Baby pumpkin. 

Besides in pumpkin pie and pumpkin bread, I had never actually cooked with pumpkin before, let alone a whole pumpkin, stem, seeds and all. Once I got the little pumpkin all set, after removing the seeds, stem, and skin, it was a breeze. It cooked surprisingly quickly and tasted delish! After all a pumpkin is just like any other squash except we don't usually cave Jack O'Lanterns into acorn or spaghetti squashes. 

To tackle the pumpkin start as if you are going to carve it: cut out the stem and scoop out the seeds and scrape out the membranes.

Then, being very careful slice the pumpkin as you would a cantaloupe, avoiding the bottom stump which is difficult to cut through. Take the slices and cut them again into 1 inch wide slices, then cut the slice into 1 inch chunks. Since whole pumpkins have such thick skins, they are impossible to peel with a conventional peeler. You need to then take the chunks and lay them so the skin side is perpendicular to the cutting board. With your knife, cut the skin off. You do lose a little bit more pumpkin than you would like, but it's the safest, easiest way to do it.

Slice your onion into super thin slices, or dice, whatever your preference is.

I used yellow peppers but again, whatever you prefer!

Will loves to observe!

Over medium heat, cook up your soup.

Once the pumpkin is soft take your shredded kale and beans and add them to heat up.

Once heated through and the kale is properly wilted, the soup is ready to eat!

Pumpkin Bean Soup
3 tbsp olive oil
3 onions, finely sliced
5 garlic cloves, crushed
3 lbs pumpkin, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
2 red peppers, seeded and diced
1 ½ cups vegetable stock
½ lb kale, cut into 2 inch pieces
2 cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
Salt and pepper
Shaved Parmesan cheese, to top

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onions and sauté until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and sauté until golden.
Add the pumpkin and sauté until browned.
Add the stock and bring to a boil. Note: I needed about 4 cups of stock to make it more of a soup than a mush. Add the kale and reduce the heat to a simmer for 5 minutes.
Stir in the beans and add the salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with the Parmesan cheese on top.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Thankful Thursdays

Thankful for... friends...

...great family...

 ...good food...

...and sound advice.