Tag Archives: fall

Pumpkin Cookies

Fall is wonderful. I love the abundance of fall squashes, especially pumpkins. Roasting pumpkins on a weekend afternoon is a wonderful way to warm up the house. Oh, and then I roast the seeds with some olive oil and salt and they are delicious. Roasting the pumpkin and seeds is an easy process. First, wash and cut the pumpkin in half. Scoop out pulp and reserve the seeds. Heat the oven to 350 and then place the pumpkin halves cut side down in a dish/pan with ~1/4″ of water. Depending on size roast for 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Allow to cool a bit and then scoop pumpkin into a strainer and let rest for about an hour. You want to set the pumpkin in a strainer to allow excess water to drain from the pumpkin. Next, puree and the pumpkin mash is ready to use in all your favorite recipes. Oh yeah, back to the seeds. Separate them from the stringy part of the pumpkin and rinse. Let them dry a bit and heat the oven to 325. Toss seeds with olive oil and salt, and spread on a cookie sheet. Bake for 25 minutes while stirring occasionally.

Now on to the cookies. To be honest I am not a frosting fan. This is probably because most frosting others use is the store bought kind that is full of crap. I am a bit of a food snob and believe food should be as natural as possible. Is the frosting in these cookies super healthy, well no, but I can pronounce every ingredient. 🙂 These cookies are almost cake/cookie and I say that because of the nice soft texture they have. Once, you top them with the creamy, dreamy frosting you will wonder why you haven’t made these before. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Cookies with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting Cookies

Cookies:

2 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1-3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon cloves

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 1/4 cup pumpkin purée

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

Frosting:

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 (8oz) package cream cheese, softened

3 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon cinnamon

For the cookies:

Preheat the oven to 350.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt; set aside.

In your mixer bowl cream together 1/2 cup butter, 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in the pumpkin, egg and vanilla until smooth.  Mix in the dry ingredients until blended.

Scoop the batter onto greased baking sheets and bake for 15-18 minutes, until the cookies spring back when you gently press the tops.  Remove to a cooling rack and cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting:

In your clean mixer bowl, beat together the remaining 1/2 cup butter and the cream cheese until smooth.  Beat in the powdered sugar, vanilla and cinnamon until fluffy.  Spread on top of the cooled cookies.

For best results, store these cookies in the fridge and let them come to room temperature before serving.


Stuffing Hops into a Keg

This past weekend was barely nice enough for us to brew beer in our backyard. And by barely I mean the wind was howling, leaves were floating by but luckily a light jacket and sweatshirt made the temperature bearable.

To start the weekend off right we dry hopped our beer “Hop Yard.” This beer got its name because it was made only with hops we grew in our yard over the summer. Dry hopping occurs when you are almost ready to carbonate and drink a beer. We accomplished dry hopping by filling a mesh bag with a bunch of our whole hops and then shoved it into the keg. This will add a nice aroma to the beer. And it worked! We snuck a little taste tonight just before hooking the keg up to the CO2.

Dry hopping took place in the house but we had to face the elements and brew a milk stout outdoors. A milk stout is smooth, creamy, and perfect to drink when the temperatures begin to fall. Dan formulates all the recipes for our homebrew and I provide moral support and what ever other assistance is needed. I made sure to keep watch of the brew kettle and keep flying debris out! At the end of the boil cooling of the wort needs to take place. Wort is essentially water that grains have been steeped in and with the help of yeast will turn into beer. Cooling of the wort involves a LOT of stirring while cool water runs through a coiled copper tube called a wort chiller. Thankfully we got done just as it was getting dark!


Fig Flatbread

Fall is in the air. The wind is brisk and the leaves are changing. Even with the cooler temperatures we spent a nice amount of time out of doors this weekend. Saturday was the last Mill City Farmer’s Market for the year and I had to go! We picked up some delicious local goat cheese, granola, garlic, and squash. After that we enjoy a nice hot cup of coffee on a park bench. 

I also ended up picking up some fresh figs. We love fig jam so I figured we'd like fresh figs too. Well I tasted one and felt it needed to be incorporated into a dish with big flavors. For pizzas I usually make dough from scratch but this was a lunch so I cheated with a pre-made flatbread. Lunch was ready in no time with the little amount of prep needed and quick cooking of the broiler. 

This flatbread was tasty and I enjoyed some for lunch today too! The flavors included the sweetness of apple, bite from the cheeses and a smooth balance provided by the figs. The only thing I may try differently is to smear the figs all over the flatbread instead of the pieces we used.

Fig Flatbread

  • 1 apple
  • 6-7 fresh figs
  • 4 oz blue cheese
  • 4 oz parmesan reggiano
  • flatbread
  • olive oil
  • honey

Preheat broiler. Slice apple and figs thinly, shave parmesan, crumble blue cheese. Broil flatbread for 2 minutes, remove, flip and brush with olive oil. Arrange all other ingredients, broil for 5 minutes and then drizzle with honey. Enjoy!