Saturday, October 29, 2011

Squash, Sausage and Black Bean Soup

I've been looking for a good pumpkin soup recipe for a really long time. My co-worker Alicia gave me a recipe from her sister a few weeks ago that I've been dying to try. Friday night was my chance, and on Thursday I was making sure I had all of the ingredients I needed, when my mom suggested I use squash. My mom has long used squash and pumpkin interchangeably, and I think I've had more squash pies under the disguise of pumpkin pie than I'll ever know.

So Friday night I started in on my soup making the necessary adjustments to replace canned pumpkin with squash. All-in-all it turned out pretty well!

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Squash, Sausage and Black Bean Soup
1 medium-sized butternut squash
1-14.5 oz. can low sodium chicken broth
1 tsp. chicken flavoring
1 lb. spicy sausage
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. flour
1 tsp. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1-15 oz. can black beans
1/2 cup dried milk
1 cup milk
Sour cream
  1.  Wash and peel squash. Cut into 1-inch squares and place into a pot with a can of chicken broth. Bring to a simmer and cook until the squash is tender.
  2. While the squash is cooking, brown the sausage and drain the sausage in a strainer.
  3. Remove the squash from the broth using a slotted spoon and place into a blender. Purée the squash in the blender.
  4. In the same pan you used to brown the sausage, melt the butter and sauté the onions. Remove from heat and still in flour. 
  5. Add chicken flavoring to broth. Then add squash Purée, sausage, onion mixture, brown sugar, salt, pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon and black beans. Stir until well combined. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. While the soup is simmering, mix together the milk and dry milk. Add the mixture to the soup and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  7. Spoon soup into bowls and top with a dollop of sour cream.
Enjoy!

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Pumpkin Carving with Power Tools

Last Halloween, I wrote a post about using a cordless drill to "carve pumpkins." I used my drill to write Happy Halloween on one of my pumpkins.

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Today, I saw this video from Lowe's, which really shows the possibilities with this technique. It is really easy to do, and if you want to write words on any of your pumpkins, I really can't think of an easier way to do it.

Happy pumpkin carving, drilling or whatever!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

The pumpkin mousse I made on Saturday didn't use an entire can of pumpkin. I was looking for something to make with the remaining puree when I came across a recipe for pumpkin oatmeal cookies in my mom's recipe box. They turned out better than I expected!

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Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup pumpkin
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups oatmeal
1 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup cinnamon chips

Soften butter and combine with oil and sugars. Add pumpkin, cinnamon and vanilla and combine. Mix together oatmeal, flour, salt and baking soda and combine with pumpkin mixture. Fold in cinnamon chips and place teaspoons of dough on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown (about 15 minutes).

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Pumpkin Mousse


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I'm back to blogging! Before we dig into a new recipe, I feel I must explain my absence from blogging.    I finally sold my house in August. It was great news, but I only had two weeks to pack up and move before my closing date. So, I dropped everything to pack and move. Not able to find a place to live in that short of time, I moved in with my parents. They have been great, but my mom is much more domestic than I am, so it means getting in the kitchen to cook is nearly impossible.

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Secondly, I got married! My wedding stuff was jammed into my parent's house and every extra minute was taken up by invite addressing, program construction and centerpiece assembly. Therefore, there was no room or time for crafting.

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The wedding is over and today my mom went to a Women of Faith Conference with my sister-in-law, so the kitchen was free! I decided to whip up a recipe from Martha Stewart. As with most Martha recipes, I had to make a few changes to the recipe.

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Pumpkin Mousse
1 envelope unflavored powdered gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp unsweetened pumpkin puree
4 eggs, separated
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 Tbsp spiced rum
1/2 cup sugar
1 pint heavy whipping cream

 Sprinkle gelatin over the cold water and let it set for 5 minutes. Cook the gelatin over medium heat just until the gelatin is dissolved (Do not bring it to a boil). Then let it cool until syrupy . I was a little impatient, so I put the gelatin in the fridge to cool, and it was not cool! I ended up with pumpkin puree sprinkled with little chunks of clear gelatin and had to start over.

Add the gelatin to the pumpkin and whisk together. Then add the egg yolks, syrup, vanilla, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and rum. Whisk together. Use an electric mixer on medium speed to whip together egg whites and 1/4 cup of sugar until soft peaks form. Fold into the pumpkin mixture.

Whip 1 cup of the cream using a mixer until stiff peaks form. Fold into the pumpkin mixture.

Whip the remaining cream until stiff peaks form. Add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and mix on low speed. Use to top the pumpkin mousse when you are ready to serve.

Store both the mousse and the whipped topping in the fridge.

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