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Volume III
October 18, 2013

Weekly Home / Cook'n & Eat'n

Any Time Is a Good Time for Pumpkin!

By Whitney Saupan

What's round, orange (most of the time), and needed for pies, cookies, and jack-o-lanterns? Pumpkins! Let's not limit the uses of the pumpkin though. I was looking up some pumpkin recipes and I have discovered that pumpkins aren't only good for cookies and pie but are used in breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes. So if you love pumpkin get ready for some deliciously yummy recipes!

You might be asking yourself what can you do with pumpkin for breakfast? Well I have two recipes here that might answer that question. Both use pumpkin in creative ways and are a good way to start off your morning!

Pumpkin Breakfast Bread Pudding

This pumpkin-filled dish is a great way to start your day!

Serving size: 15
Calories per serving: 74

nonstick cooking spray
2 egg whites
1 egg
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup fat-free milk
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Dashground cloves
6 slices high-fiber whole wheat bread, cut into 1-inch pieces (6 cups)
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
2 teaspoons butter
2 tablespoons maple syrup

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly coat six 6-ounce ramekins or custard cups with cooking spray; set aside. In a large bowl whisk together egg whites, whole egg, pumpkin, milk, 2 tablespoons syrup, the cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and cloves. Stir in bread pieces and pecans.

Divide mixture among prepared custard cups. Arrange custard cups in a shallow baking pan. Bake about 25 minutes or until lightly browned on top and heated through (160 degrees F in centers). Cool slightly. Serve warm topped with butter and 2 tablespoons syrup.

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Pumpkin Steel Cut Oatmeal

This hearty, warm breakfast will warm you up on any cold fall day!

Prep time:
Cook time:

Serving size: 5
Calories per serving: 40

1/4 cup steel cut oatmeal
1 cup water
pinch salt
1/4 cup pumpkin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
1 tablespoon sucanat
2 tablespoons walnuts pieces
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Bring oats, water, and salt to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally until oats are slightly tender.

Once oats are almost done, add remaining ingredients into the oats and continue to cook until the oats are cooked..

Once oatmeal is done, place in a bowl and top with a few extra walnuts.

(Feel free to add milk/soymilk if the oats turn out too thick!)

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What better to spice up some family classics than to add something unexpected like pumpkin?

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Sandwich

Adding pumpkin to this classic sandwich is sure to delight pumpkin lovers as well as peanut butter lovers!

Serving size: 2
Calories per serving: 181

1/2 cup pumpkin
1/2 cup peanut butter
4 slices whole wheat bread
1 medium banana, cut into 1/4-inch slices

Combine pumpkin and peanut butter in small bowl until well blended. Makes 1 cup.

Spread 1 tablespoon pumpkin peanut butter spread on each slice. Top two slices with banana slices. Top each with second slice of bread to make sandwiches.

Refrigerate leftover pumpkin peanut butter spread in tightly covered container for up to 5 days.

TIP: Sandwiches can also be made with pita bread, English muffins or tortillas. The pumpkin peanut butter spread is also good on crackers or with celery sticks.

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Pumpkin Mac and Cheese

Cheese, noodles and pumpkin come together for a whole new twist on a favorite dish!

Prep time:
Cook time:

Serving size: 8
Calories per serving: 376

2 cups dried elbow macaroni (8 ounces)
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup whipping cream
1 cup whole milk
4 ounces fontina cheese, shredded (1 cup)
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
1 tablespoon snipped fresh sage or 1/2 teaspoon dried leaf sage, crushed
1/2 cup soft bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon olive oil
sage leaves (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cook pasta in a large pot following package directions. Drain cooked pasta, then return to pot.

For cheese sauce, in a medium saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour, salt, and pepper. Add whipping cream and milk all at once. Cook and stir over medium heat until slightly thickened and bubbly. Stir in cheese, pumpkin, and sage until cheese is melted. Stir cheese sauce into pasta to coat. Transfer macaroni and cheese to an ungreased 2-quart rectangular baking dish.

In a small bowl combine bread crumbs, Parmesan, walnuts, and oil; sprinkle over pasta. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until bubbly and top is golden. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. If desired, sprinkle with sage leaves.

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There are so many main dishes that used pumpkins; it was hard to choose just two to share with you! So I'm going to share three! The recipes below use pumpkin to add to the flavor of the dish! They all look so yummy!

Pumpkin Risotto with Amarone Sauce

This vegetarian friendly dish looks so amazing I can't wait to try it!

Prep time:
Cook time:

Serving size: 4
Calories per serving: 341

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 (3/4 to 1 pound) pumpkin, peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces
2 fresh bay leaves
3 cups vegetable stock, plus 1 cup vegetable stock
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon butter
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
Amarone Sauce
2 cups Amarone wine
kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 cup water

Pumpkin Puree:
In a large heavy-bottomed pot, heat olive oil and then add the onions. Gently fry until soft and translucent. Add the pumpkin, bay leaves and 1 cup of the vegetable stock. Bring to a simmer and cover. Steam over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes. Add a tablespoon of remaining stock to the pumpkin base and mash it down into a puree using the back of a wooden spoon or spatula.

In a large, heavy-bottomed pan, heat some olive oil and add the rice. Add the remaining stock and cook for 12 minutes with the lid on until the stock has been absorbed, the rice is al dente, and has a lovely creamy consistency. Add the pumpkin puree into the risotto pan and stir together.

Finally, add freshly grated Parmesan and butter to the pan and stir well. Season with sea salt and pepper.

Serve the risotto on individual plates and spoon the Amarone Wine Sauce over top.

Amarone Sauce:
In a medium-sized pan, heat the Amarone wine, a pinch of salt, sugar, bay leaf, and cinnamon. Stir well and heat over a low flame until the sugar is dissolved.

In a small bowl, mix together the water and flour. Gradually add the flour and water mixture to the pan, continually stirring, until the sauce has the desired consistency and flour is cooked (the sauce should be clear).

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Pumpkin Stuffed with Everything Good

The name says it all: this pumpkin is filled with the savory goodness of bacon, cheese, and bread; it makes a hearty main course or side dish.

Serving size: 5
Calories per serving: 287

1 (3-pound) pumpkin
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 pound stale bread, thinly sliced and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 pound Gruyere, Emmenthal, or Cheddar cheese (or a mix of all three), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 to 3 cloves garlic, split, germ removed, and coarsely chopped
4 slices bacon, cooked until crisp, drained, and chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives or sliced scallions
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
1/2 cup heavy cream
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees with a rack set in the center of the oven. Line a baking sheet with a nonstick baking mat or use a Dutch oven that is slightly larger in diameter than your pumpkin (in which case, you will need to serve your pumpkin from the Dutch oven, as it may stick, but it will keep its shape better this way).

Using a sharp, sturdy knife, cut off top of pumpkin, working around the top with the knife inserted at a 45-degree angle to cut off enough to make it easy to work inside the pumpkin; reserve top. Remove seeds and strings from cap and pumpkin. Season inside of pumpkin generously with salt and pepper. Place on prepared baking sheet or in Dutch oven; set aside.

In a large bowl, toss together bread, cheese, garlic, bacon, chives, and thyme until well combined. Pack into pumpkin; it should be well filled but not overstuffed. You may need to add some bread and cheese or some of the filling may not be necessary to use. In a small bowl, stir cream and nutmeg to combine. Pour over filling; filling should be moist but not swimming in cream -- you may need to use more or less accordingly.

Place top on pumpkin and transfer to oven; cook until filling is bubbling and pumpkin flesh is tender, about 1 hour and 30 minutes. Remove top and continue baking until liquid is slightly evaporated and top of filling is browned, 20 to 30 minutes more.

Carefully transfer pumpkin to a serving platter (or serve in Dutch oven, if using) and serve.

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Pumpkin Stew

Delicious stew made inside of a pumpkin! What could be better?

Serving size: 9
Calories per serving: 59

2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 tablespoons canola oil, divided
1 cup water
3 large potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
4 medium carrots, sliced
1 large green pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons beef bouillon granules
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomato, undrained
1 pumpkin (10 to 12 pounds)

In a Dutch oven, brown meat in 2 tablespoons oil. Add water, potatoes, carrots, green pepper, garlic, onion, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 2 hours. Stir in bouillon and tomatoes. Wash pumpkin; cut to 6 to 8 in. circle around top stem. Remove top and set aside; discard seeds and loosen fibers from inside.

Place pumpkin in a shallow sturdy baking pan. Spoon stew into pumpkin and replace top. Brush outside of pumpkin with remaining oil. Bake at 325° for 2 hours or just until the pumpkin is tender (do not overbake). Serve stew from pumpkin, scooping out a little pumpkin with each serving.

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Of course there are the classic pumpkin desserts: pumpkin pie and pumpkin cookies, so let's get a little adventurous and try something new!

Caramel-Pecan-Pumpkin Cheesecake Bites

Bite-size pumpkin cheesecake? It's too good to be true!

Serving size: 24
Calories per serving: 104

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup ground toasted pecans
1/2 cup butter, cut up
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup caramel ice cream topping (high quality)
1/4 cup chopped toasted pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease twenty-four 1 3/4-inch muffin cups; set aside.

In a medium bowl stir together flour, granulated sugar, and the ground pecans. Using a pastry blender cut in the 1/2 cup butter until pieces are pea size. Stir in the egg yolk until combined. Shape dough into 24 balls. Press each ball evenly into the bottoms and up the sides of the prepared muffin cups. Bake for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, for filling, in a medium mixing bowl beat the 1/4 cup butter, the cream cheese, pumpkin, and brown sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and pumpkin pie spice until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally.

Spoon filling evenly into the partially-baked crusts. Bake about 15 minutes more or until filling is set. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Run a thin knife or thin metal spatula around the edge of each cheesecake bite. Carefully transfer to a wire rack and let cool. Cover and chill before serving.

Just before serving, in a small bowl stir together the caramel topping and 1/4 cup pecans. Spoon 1 teaspoon mixture onto each cheesecake bite.

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Tempura Pumpkin with a Drizzle of Caramel Sauce and Cinnamon Ice Cream

Deep fried pumpkin and ice cream-need I say more?

Serving size: 5
Calories per serving: 824

vegetable oil, for frying
12 pieces fresh pumpkin (about 4 inches long and 1-inch thick), cooked until tender
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, beaten
1 cup ice-sold soda (seltzer) water
1/2 cup cinnamon and sugar mixture (**equal parts)
Cinnamon Ice Cream
1 cup warm Caramel Sauce
shaker confectioners' sugar
4 cups half and half
1 cup sugar
pinch salt
5 egg yolk
2 teaspoons freshly ground cinnamon
1 cup CARAMEL SAUCE: granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1 cup heavy cream

Preheat the fryer to 360 degrees F.

Season the pumpkin pieces with salt. In a medium-size mixing bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, sugar, salt, egg, and soda water and mix well to make a smooth batter. Dip each piece of pumpkin in the batter, shaking off any excess. Carefully lay the slices in the hot oil. Fry in batches until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels. Season with some of the cinnamon-sugar mixture.

Place a scoop of ice cream in the center of each serving bowl. Lay 3 pieces of the pumpkin next to the ice cream. Drizzle the entire bowl with the Caramel Sauce. Garnish with confectioners' sugar.

Cinnamon Ice Cream:
In a nonreactive saucepan, combine the half and half, sugar, and salt, over medium heat. Bring the cream to the boiling point and scald it. Remove from the heat.

Beat the egg yolks and cinnamon in a bowl. Add the half-and-half mixture, about 1/4 cup at a time, to the beaten eggs, whisking in between each addition, until all is used. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan, and cook, stirring, over medium heat, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the mixture becomes thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and cool completely. Pour the filling into the ice cream machine and follow the manufacture's instructions for churning time.

Yield: about 1/2 gallon

Caramel Sauce:
In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar and water and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring often. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is a deep caramel color and has the consistency of a thin syrup, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the cream, return the saucepan to the high heat, and boil the sauce until it regains the consistency of a thick syrup, about 2 minutes.

Yield: about 3/4 cup

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Whitney Saupan
Weekly Newsletter Contributer since 2013

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