I tried to make this a few years ago, either just before or right around the advent of this blog. It didn’t turn out so well, because I a) didn’t have a clue what I was doing with the pumpkin, b) was still figuring out my way around the kitchen, and c) this was an earlier recipe from Brokeass Gourmet, which wasn’t always fantastic on the directions in the early days.

Now, though? I know how to peel and dice a pumpkin properly, which is honestly the big part of the effort in this recipe. The pumpkin I got originally gave me about 10 cups worth of diced pumpkin (from about five pounds of pumpkin), which is definitely more than enough for this and another recipe I’ll be using it in soon.  And the rest came together with ingredients from a beef brussel sprouts stir fry from the Plated trial I mentioned in the last post, and with stuff I already had in my pantry. Honestly, the only thing you should need to buy for this should be the pumpkin, the ginger, the beef, the coconut milk, and maybe the peppers.

The result is an amazing fall curry that I can’t wait to make again. Plus, it’s cheap!

Thai Pumpkin Beef Curry
Lasts 5 to 6 lunches as a main

Ingredients

  • 6 c peeled and cubed fresh pumpkin
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped (adjustable to taste)
  • 1 1" piece of ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced (I used a shallot from the Plated trial)
  • .5 lb beef stew meat (I increased it to 2 lbs because I remember it not being that much, I had an additional flatiron steak from the Plated trial that I cut up and added, and I like beef besides)
  • 1 14 oz can coconut milk
  • 2 t Thai red curry paste (I ended up increasing this to 1 T)
  • 1 T soy sauce (was probably closer to 2 T for me)
  • 2 t honey (accidentally used 2 T, whoops)
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1" pieces
  • jalapeño, seeded and chopped

Preheat your oven to 375, take your pumpkin pieces and lay them out on a foil lined baking sheet, and roast them for 45 minutes, until the pumpkin is fork tender.

Twenty five minutes into the pumpkin roasting, heat your olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add your garlic, ginger, and onion, and cook for two minutes, stirring once or twice. Then, add your beef and brown lightly on all sides. 

Add in your coconut milk, curry paste, soy sauce, and honey, and stir well. You should have a red-brownish creamy sauce (mine tended a bit more towards brown). Add in your bell pepper and jalapeño, stir well, and then cover. Cook for the remaining 15 minutes or so that the pumpkin will roast, stirring here and there, as otherwise the honey will stick to the bottom of the pot. 

Once the pumpkin is done roasting, add it directly to the pot. Give the pot another good stir and then cover again, cooking for another fifteen minutes, until the beef is very, very tender.

And then, enjoy your fantastic curry!

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This soup honestly seems like the perfect end of summer/edging into fall thing. It takes advantage of the last of the fresh tomatoes and perfectly roasts them, adds in bacon, and makes it perfectly savory. Plus, it doesn’t require a lot of watching, which is another bonus as it gets colder out.

Roasted Tomato Bacon Soup
Lasts appx 4 lunches as a main

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs roma tomatoes, sliced in half (I used farmer’s market San Marzanos that were on sale)
  • 2 t olive oil
  • 6 strips bacon, chopped (whoops, forgot to chop them when cooking them, still worked; go thick cut farmer’s market bacon if you can)
  • 1 small white onion, chopped (or half a medium one like I used)
  • 5 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1.5 c chicken stock
  • 1 T smoked paprika
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2/3 c heavy whipping cream

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees while you half your tomatoes, and put them on a foil lined sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, pepper, and sea salt, and roast for about an hour, until the tomatoes are tender and wrinkled. (see pic 2). 

While all this is happening, heat a stockpot over medium heat, and cook to desired doneness (I usually go for mediumish, I like my bacon softer). Remove the bacon, and keep the fat in the pot, and add the onion in, cooking for about five minutes, until soft and almost translucent. Then add in the garlic, and cook an additional minute. 

Add in everything except the heavy cream (chicken stock, paprika, bacon, roasted tomatoes), and bring to a boil before reducing to a simmer over medium low. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, to reduce slightly.

If you have an awesome immersion blender (thanks again paintboxsoapworks!), use it here to puree to a single smooth consistency. If you don’t, use your blender and blend in batches. Either way, once pureed, add the cream to the pot and stir until smooth.  And then, enjoy the roasted tomato bacony goodness!

So, this? This is one of the best things you can do during the fall.  The slow cooker makes the apple-brown sugar-cinnamon combo filter all throughout your house for the full six hours of cooking.  Plus, it’s a great way to use up a bunch of apples, especially if you can find them for cheap at the farmer’s market.  (I got thirteen apples for… I want to say $4 or $5, maximum.  Tis the season.)

This recipe is going to be a bit approximate, as I upped just about everything to match the higher apple content.  I’ll give suggested minimums along with what I did personally.  The thirteen apples I got filled up the crock pot most of the way, and gave me a good pound of applesauce.

Crockpot Applesauce
Lasts 5 lunches as side (at 1 lb of sauce)

Ingredients

  • apples, peeled, cored, and chopped (recipe suggests 8 minimum, I used 13, a mix of Cortland and another type that the vendor didn’t specify)
  • cinnamon sticks (original recipe suggests one, I used five)
  • brown sugar (original recipe suggests 5 t, I just kind of shook the bag out on top of the apples, probably about 3 T worth)
  • lemon juice (original recipe recommends 1 t, I squirted about a quarter of a small lemon bottle onto the top of the apples)

Peel, core, and chop your apples, putting them in the crock pot once chopped. If you find yours filling up most of the crock pot like I did, layer in your cinnamon sticks.  Top with the lemon juice and brown sugar, and at least one cinnamon stick.

Cover your cock pot, turn to low, and proceed to cook for six hours.  Stir at least once every hour, especially as you get towards the last three hours, as the apples will get mushier, and if you stir them, it’ll help them break down into the sauce easier.

Once your six hours is up, the sauce should be looking like the final picture.  I just took out my cinnamon sticks from there and spooned it into a container, as I like this sort chunkier, but if you want it smoother, still remove the sticks and blend it.

The weekend is the one time I will go all out for breakfast, as most times, I’m rolling out of bed in the morning to get right to work.  Weekends, I can wake up as slow as I please, and do whatever I want.  I haven’t used my cast iron skillet in a while, and I came across this recipe for a pumpkin spice dutch baby last night, so I pretty much knew that I would be doing this this morning the moment I came across it.

Haven’t heard of a dutch baby?  They’re pretty much fluffy, awesome cast iron skillet pancakes that inflate up pretty big.  Not quite as thick as a pancake, but a bit more substantial than, say, a crepe.

Pumpkin Spice Dutch Baby
Makes 1 pancake

Ingredients

  • 2 T butter
  • 3 eggs
  • .75 c milk (I used a blend of .25 c pumpkin spice chai concentrate and .5 c milk)
  • .75 c flour
  • 2 t sugar
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • dash cinnamon
  • pinch nutmeg
  • pinch ground cloves
  • pinch ginger
  • pinch salt

Preheat your oven to 425 (mine was at 400), and put your cast iron skillet in the oven with the butter.  Melt the butter in the skillet for about five minutes, until the melted butter covers the bottom of the skillet.  

While your butter is melting, put all the rest of your ingredients in a blender and puree until you have a single, smooth batter.

As soon as your skillet is ready, take it out of the oven and pour the batter right in.  Bake your pancake for about twenty minutes, until it’s puffed up like in the final picture.

You can add powdered sugar or maple syrup for a topping, but honestly, this is great plain.

These were made on a complete whim as I actually FOUND pumpkin spice Hershey’s (I haven’t been able to find them before, and it turns out they’re amazing) at the local Target, and I’ve had this recipe hanging around in my Pinterest since last fall.  And they were absolutely worth it.

A few notes – they aren’t kidding when they say just rest it on top of the cooling cookies rather than pressing them down, they do melt, as you can see in the last pic.  Also, there’s a chai spice mix that I forgot to put in, but honestly, you could probably put the spices directly in the batter instead of sprinkling them on top of the cookies like the original recommends. Also, in randomness, it turns out that Target is the only place reasonably close to me that has chai concentrates, which is surprising, as I live in a college town.

Chai Pumpkin Spice Thumbprints
Makes appx 20 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 stick butter, at room temperature
  • .5 c sugar
  • .25 c chai concentrate (I used the Tazo pumpkin spice chai latte concentrate that they were rolling out at Target)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1.75 c flour
  • .5 t baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • .5 t chai spice mix (OP did a mix of cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg in larger portions for another recipe, but for this, you could probably do a pinch of each directly into the batter)
  • Hershey’s Pumpkin Spice Kisses, unwrapped (equal to however many cookies you make)

Cream together your butter and your sugar until fluffy, and then add your chai concentrate, egg, and vanilla, and mix until combined. (The dough may look a bit curdled, but trust me, it’s okay.) Add your flour, baking soda, salt, and chai spice mix, and mix until combined. (OP recommends sprinkling the mix on the dough right before it goes into the oven, I think it would be better added directly to the dough before chilling, I didn’t add it either way this time, so experiment!)  Throw your dough into the fridge to chill for an hour.

Preheat your oven to 350 (mine was at 325), and line a baking sheet with whatever you usually line it with (I go with aluminum foil). Take your dough out of the fridge, and roll off bits of the dough into 1 inch balls (you can get between 20 to 24 balls from this recipe).  Place them on the baking sheet, and bake between 12 to 15 minutes (mine tended towards 15). Unwrap your Kisses while the cookies bake.

Remove your cookies from the oven, and immediately place the Kisses on top of them (don’t press them in, or they will melt). After they’ve cooled a bit, remove them from the sheet to somewhere where they can cool fully, and get your next batch of cookies in (this will typically take two rounds of baking, to get all the dough baked).

And then try not to eat them all in one night.  It’s hard, I know.

So, this is another post that should’ve been up WAY sooner, but life conspired otherwise. I ended up screwing up the recipe when I was making the dough – I added 2 1/3 c of pumpkin when it should’ve been 2/3 c, so that required adjusting the flour quite a bit and giving the dough longer to rise. Once I got the rolls rolled and cut, I ended up throwing them in the fridge, intending to get to them within a day or two. Well, then I realized that I didn’t have the cream cheese I needed to do so, and after getting sick for most of the week, these ended up staying in the fridge until late last night, when I finally was able to get the cream cheese to make the glaze.

Happy to say though that despite all the fuckery involved, and staying in a fridge for the better part of a week, these turned out pretty damn good.  I didn’t use the typical plain cream cheese for the glaze, either – one of the local grocery stores had a cinnamon and brown sugar cream cheese for fall, and I think it turned out pretty damn good.  This is a long recipe, so I recommend making these the night before you want to have them.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
Makes enough to fill two 9" cake pans

Ingredients

Dough

  • 6 T butter
  • .5 c warm milk
  • 1 package active dry yeast (2.25 t total)
  • 3.5 c flour, plus extra for rolling out
  • .25 c dark brown sugar
  • .25 c white sugar
  • 1 t salt
  • .5 t cinnamon
  • dash nutmeg
  • pinch cardamom
  • dash ginger (whoops, forgot this)
  • 2/3 c canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 large egg

Filling

  • .75 c dark brown sugar
  • .25 c white sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 2 t cinnamon

Glaze

  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened (I used the brown sugar/cinnamon from Philadelphia for this, you could probably use any other flavor too)
  • 2 T milk
  • 2 c powdered sugar
  • 1 t vanilla extract

Melt your butter – Deb is a big fan of browned butter, so she recommends doing it wherever possible.  I ended up doing it here.  Melt your butter in a small pot, and cook it on medium just a little beyond the melting point, until it starts to smell nutty and you get brown bits at the bottom of the pot.  Remove from heat once that happens.

While you’re doing that, warm your milk (I nuked mine for about 45 seconds) and add your yeast, mixing in a small bowl, and letting it sit for five to seven minutes.  It’ll get a bit foamy during this time (see pic 1), and that’s how you know your yeast is good.

Combine all your dry ingredients while the yeast activates – flour, sugars, spices – in the bottom of a large bowl.  Pour two-thirds (.25 c) of your browned butter into the dry ingredients, and leave the rest for roll assembly.  Stir to combine, and add your yeasty milk, pumpkin, and egg, and stir more to combine.  Your dough should be slightly resistant at this point, but still a little sticky.  Knead for five minutes (or, if you’re one of the lucky bastards who has a stand mixer, put a dough hook on it for five minutes). Cover your dough, and let it rise for an hour, until doubled(ish) in size). 

After an hour, flour your counter well and roll out you dough, until it’s roughly the size of an 11 x 16 pan.  Brush the remaining browned butter over the dough, and combine your filling ingredients, sprinkling them over the buttered dough. 

Then, you start your rolling.  I started from the shorter end, as it was way more convenient for me; Deb recommends rolling from the long end.  Filling will spill out the ends; it happens.  

To cut your dough while keeping the spirals (mostly) intact, use a bread knife and saw back and forth gently (don’t put pressure on the dough) to get near perfect spirals. Cut them however thick you like. Of course, if you jam them in the cake pan like I did, it won’t matter much (see pic 5), but it’s the aesthetic thought that counts.  Each pan can fit about eight or so rolls.  Cover the pans and let rise another 45 minutes.

However, if you’re like me and you covered them in plastic wrap and threw them in the fridge overnight (or close to a week) at this point, when you take them out, let them rise closer to an hour to warm up and finish the rising process.  

Preheat your oven to 350 (mine was at 325), and throw in your rolls for about a half hour, until they’re puffed and golden.  While you bake these, make your glaze – beat your cream cheese until light and fluffy, and then add your powdered sugar and vanilla, followed by your milk to get the consistency you want (less = thicker, more = thinner). Once your rolls are done, let them rest a bit and then drizzle the glaze on.

And then, ENJOY YOUR MIGHTY LABORS.

All right, so, I’ve technically had the component bits of this made since sometime last week (the cupcakes were made sometime late last week, the frosting was made shortly thereafter), I just hadn’t put the frosting on one of the cupcakes for the final shot. And since they’ve been stored in the fridge, they’re not that pretty, and are kinda sticking together.  So, the final result isn’t exactly the prettiest thing in the world, but, deal.  😛 

Also, if you don’t like pumpkin, you might want to tune out of this blog for a bit – I got three big cans of pumpkin puree last shopping trip, and there will be much baking of things involving pumpkin in the near future. 😛

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes appx 14 cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 1 stick butter at room temp
  • 1 c packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 c white sugar
  • 2 c flour
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1 t ground ginger
  • dash ground nutmeg
  • pinch ground cloves
  • .5 t salt
  • pinch black pepper (I think I forgot this)
  • 2 large eggs
  • .5 c buttermilk mixed with 1 t vanilla
  • 1.25 c pumpkin puree

Frosting

  • 16 oz (2 8 oz packages) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 stick butter at room temp
  • 2 c powdered sugar
  • .25 c pure maple syrup (I used closer to .5 c)

Cream your butter and sugars together until they’re nice and fluffy (usually takes about 5 minutes). Meanwhile, combine the remainder of your dry ingredients (flour, baking soda and powder, spices) in a separate bowl.  (I didn’t do this by accident, and just ended up adding all the dry ingredients in stages into the bowl, and added the wet ingredients last.)  Then add your eggs to your creamed butter and sugar, and switch between adding your dry ingredients and the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour. Add your pumpkin last, and beat the mixture until it’s smooth.

Preheat your oven to 350 (mine was at 325), and start scooping the batter into the cupcake tins – try to get each cup at least ¾ths of the way full, these will puff up.  Bake your cupcakes between twenty to thirty minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean (mine tended towards the thirty minute mark).

While your cupcakes are baking, make your frosting!  Basically, throw all your ingredients into a bowl and mix it until you have a wonderful, smooth frosting!

I kept my frosting in a separate, smaller container to frost my cupcakes as needed, and just to have a spoonful of every once in a while. And you will need to store the cupcakes in the fridge – the buttermilk makes them a bit more susceptible to mold.