The best thing about this time of year... all things pumpkin!
Pumpkin Cream Cheese
and Toasted, Roasted Pumpkin Seeds!
Over the weekend, we got to carving our Jack-o-Lanterns! Albin is a pro with the carving and especially cleaning of pumpkin gunk! We made sure to keep the seeds aside for roasting. Aren't they just the coziest, tastiest Fall snack?
There are a million ways to make them, and I decided to make ours a little spicy this year..
I used course sea salt, cayenne pepper, a bit of garlic powder, and ground black pepper.
So tasty! They made a great munch while I finished frosting those Spooktacular cupcakes!
Preheat oven to 250°F
Wash and dry pumpkin seeds!
Toss pumpkin seeds with a bit of extra virgin olive oil, and your favorite spices.
Spread out seeds in a single layer on a large baking sheet.
Turn seeds every ten minutes or so until golden brown... 30-45 minutes.
Let cool and serve!
Next time I'll try a little brown sugar and cinnamon.. Do you have a favorite variety?
Okay, so there's really nothing spooky about these cupcakes.. but they sure are festive! Devil's food for the spook-factor, and a delicious Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese frosting in spook-tacular colors!
For the cupcake batter, stir the sugar, flour, baking soda and salt together in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
Put the cut up chocolate in a large mixing bowl and pour the boiling water over it. Let stand for 2 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Whisk in the butter, then the eggs, one at a time, whisking after each addition until smooth. Whisk in the vanilla and sour cream.
Whisk in the flour and sugar mixture in 3 separate additions, whisking until smooth after each.
Divide the batter equally among the cavities in the pans, spooning it in. Bake the cupcakes until they are well risen and feel firm when pressed in the center with a fingertip, about 20 minutes.
Cool in the pans on racks for 5 minutes, then transfer the cupcakes to racks and cool completely before frosting.
Frost and decorate as desired. As you can see, I had a blast! For the frosting recipe, click here.
These easy-to-make treats pack all the right flavor! They are so simple, and taste like Heaven on Earth!
3/4 pound fresh green beans
4 strips of bacon.. maybe more
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt or use fresh minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3-4 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons brown sugar
Preheat oven to 400°
Trim the ends off the green beans and seperate into bundles of 8-12
Cut slices of bacon in half lengthwise
Wrap one piece of bacon around each bundle, half the length should do the trick. Arrange on a cookie sheet.
In a small saucepan, melt butter.
Add garlic, black pepper, and brown sugar. The wonderful aromas should be FILLING your kitchen by now.
Generously brush each bundle with the butter mixture. Add an additional bit of pepper to the top of each one.
Place them in the oven and bake at 400° for 15- 20 minutes or until bacon is crisp. And if the ends on the green beans blacken, don't worry, they taste amazing!
It's every bit as decadent as it sounds.
My signature gruyere, cheddar, and a hint of blue cheese macaroni, filled a buttery, crumbly, parmesan pie crust, and topped with an Applewood smoked bacon lattice.... It is nothing short of amazing.
I'm quite certain that this pie will shave a few days off the life of anyone who has a nibble... but party on hedonists!
It'll knock your socks off!
To make the crust...
1-1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup butter, preferably unsalted, room temperature
4 to 5 tablespoons cold water
Sift flour with garlic powder. Stir in oregano and cheese. Add butter and cut into flour mixture with pastry cutter or forks until it makes fine pieces. Gradually add 4 tablespoons water into mixture and stir until dough holds together, adding the extra tablespoon of water if needed. Roll out two-thirds of the dough on a lightly floured surface to an 11-inch circle. Place in the bottom of a 9-inch pie pan. Roll out the remaining dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut into 2-inch rounds. Set aside.
For the Macaroni..
One bag of elbow macaroni
Cup Extra Sharp Cheddar, grated
1 Cup Aged White Cheddar, grated
½ Cup Gruyere Cheese or a smoked hard cheese of your choice grated
1/4 Cup Blue Cheese... if you dare
1 Stick of Salted Butter
1/2 Cup of milk
3-4 tbs. of flour
Course Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
A pinch of fresh garlic, minced
6 Pieces Applewood Smoked Bacon
Cook macaroni in boiling salted water following package directions. Drain and rinse; set aside.
Heat oven to 350°.
In a medium sauce pan, heat milk, flour. Salt and Pepper the mixture. Add a touch of garlic.
It should be slightly thick.. be careful not to let the milk burn.. just simmer.
In a large kettle combine pasta, and all cheeses. Stir until cheese is melted. Salt and pepper a bit.
Pour milk flour mixture evenly over the pasta.
Now spread mixture into your pie crust.
Create a bacon lattice with thick cut bacon
Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until the top is browned and bacon is crusty.
Serve and enjoy!!!
**Note: This recipe adapted from the lovely ladies over at Desserts for Breakfast
I will post these cake recipes later. But the short and sweet on these cupcakes is easy.
Make one batch of chocolate cupcakes and one batch of yellow.
With a sharp knife, cut the yellow cupcakes in half.
Then cut the chocolate cupcakes in half.
I made a big batch of cream cheese frosting (Recipe posted below), and divided into 3 bowls.
Using red, yellow, and green food coloring, I made my "condiments."
Put a small amount of frosting on the center of the bottom yellow cupcake.
It will act as a glue. Place a chocolate cupcake half on top.
Using a flat frosting tip for the yellow frosting, I drew a square around the chocolate "burger."
I made sure to make the corners obvious so it looked like cheese.
Then I used a star tip to create a little leafy lettuce with the green frosting on each side.
Finally, I used a pointed tip to create the "ketchup."
Place the yellow cake bun on top.
I used large white cupcake wrappers as "burger wrappers."
These are cute, fun, and so tasty!
Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting enough for 30 cupcakes
1 cup of unsalted butter, softened
1 8oz pack of cream cheese, softened
1 whole vanilla bean, split open with a knife and vanilla beans scraped out (Amazon.com has 16 beans for $15)
3-4 cups confectioner sugar (I try and use as little as I can, but making sure it's pipeable)
Cream butter and cream cheese together on medium speed until texture is uniform. Add 2 cups of confectioners sugar and beat on low speed until sugar is all incorporated. Add 2 more cups and again mix on low speed until sugar is all incorporated. Add scraped vanilla beans (get every last bit) and mix on medium speed for 5 minutes, occasionally scraping down sides. The key to really creamy frosting is to NOT beat too much air into the frosting but rather, on a medium speed, beat it until it is creamy.