"I fear that so many feel that a long-term supply is so far beyond their reach that they make no effort at all. Begin in a small way…gradually build toward a reasonable objective.” -President Gordon B. Hinckley,

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

After I made a bunch of pumpkin puree, I was left with a lot of pumpkin seeds that I couldn't let go to waste. So, I turned to my favorite chef, Alton Brown, for a delicious recipe.

 Wash and dry the seeds. Let dry for at least 8 hours.

Over medium heat add 2 tsp olive oil, once that is good and hot add 1 cup pumpkin seed,  1/2 tsp. salt, and a pinch of pepper. Stir constantly for about 5 minutes or until seeds are nice and brown.


Place the seeds into a paper towel lined bowl to wick away excess oil. Store seeds in an air tight container. Consume with in a week or freeze up to a month. Good luck getting them to last that long. My toddler was eating these by the handful. 

Pumpkin Puree

We all know that fresh tastes better, yet I always just used canned pumpkin. Why? I'm not sure. Now that I have discovered the delicious and heavenly taste of fresh pumpkin puree in my baked goods, I will never be returning to the can. Here's the scoop so you can enjoy the "liquid gold" as well.

Choose a pumpkin that feels firm and heavy for its size. Look for soft spots, mold, wrinkles or open cuts that would indicate damage or early spoilage. Choose a pumpkin with a solidly attached stem. Preheat your oven to 375°.

                                                           Cut a slice out of the pumpkin. 
    Clean all the guts off the slice.Free of all string and seeds (set guts aside to roast the seeds later)

Place meat side down on a jelly-roll pan. Try to keep the pieces the same size to ensure even cooking.
Once your pan is full add a bit of water to the tray to prevent the pumpkin from sticking and to steam it as it bakes.  Bake for about 60 minutes or until the meat is soft. 

Allow the pumpkin to cool for a few minutes so you don't burn your fingers. Then remove the skin.

    Place the cooked, skinless pieces in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.
 Transfer the puree to a bowl and allow to cool before placing in freezer safe containers for storage.

Then make delicious baked goods such as pie, cake, cookies, and bread.

Here's my pumpkin bread recipe:     2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
                                                       1 cup whole wheat flour
                                                       3 cups sugar
                                                       2 tsp. baking soda
                                                       2 tsp. cinnamon
                                                       1 tsp. nutmeg
                                                       1 tsp. salt
                                                       16 oz fresh pumpkin puree
                                                       1 cup oil
                                                       4 eggs
                                                       1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350°. Mix flours, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. In a separate bowl mix the pumpkin puree, oil, and eggs.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry and blend well. Add chocolate chips. 
Bake for 60-70 minutes. 
(if you use canned pumpkin puree, (this won't taste as good) you will need to add 2/3 cup of water to the above recipe.)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Dill pickles

 I have made multiple recipes of dill pickles over the years and I think this recipe is my new favorite.
                              The recipe is on the back of the Ball Kosher Dill Pickle Mix.
For every 2 quarts of pickles, you will need:   3 1/2 lbs pickling cucumbers
                                                                  2 cups water
                                                                  1 cup vinegar
                                                                  1/4 cup ball Kosher Dill Pickle Mix
                                                                  2 quart jars with bands and lids

This recipe worked well for me this year as I was growing my own cucumbers and rarely had a large batch to do at once.  Wash and cut the ends off the cucumbers. You can cut them into spears, sandwich slices, halves etc.
             Combine water, vinegar, and pickle mix in a medium sauce pan. Heat to a boil.

Pack sliced pickles into hot jars. Ladle hot pickling liquid over cucumbers leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
Remove air bubbles, wipe rims, and center lids on jars. Apply bands and adjust to fingertip tight.
For preserving up to 1 year process in a water bath canner for 15 minutes. For best flavor, allow pickles to stand for 4-6 weeks.

           Processed pickles ready to eat within 4-6 weeks. Waiting is the hardest part :)